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Low Carb Paleo Diets vs. Cancer: A Follow-up Note To Steve Jobs

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“There’s no statistical significance in the sad passing of Steve Jobs and his choice of vegan diet.”

That’s a quote from one of the comments on the previous article about how Steve Job’s diet contributed to his early death (or at least it didn’t slow it down).  The article has received 64 comments, often from people saying there is no way his vegan diet could have contributed to cancer, or people saying that we have to accept that diet plays no role whatsoever.

As always, the best course of action is to look at the research.  Luckily, German researchers from the University Hospital of Würzburg just published one of the largest reviews on the benefits of low-carbs diets for cancer patients.

Published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, this large scale review would have been useful in helping to prevent Steve’s early demise.  Instead of following a low-carb diet, Mr. Jobs trusted his health to the Dean Ornish, high-carb, low-fat, macrobiotic, pseudo-vegan diet.  I’ve already discussed why this diet was terrible for treating cancer, but some of the readers were unconvinced.  At some least the vegans and vegetarians weren’t… (yet – this blog has transformed nearly 2 dozen former vegans back into powerful people full of more life than they had before…)

A vegan diet isn’t necessarily high-carb.  There has to be at least five or so vegans who live off of avocados and olive oil.  All jokes aside, the vast majority of vegans eat a high-carb, low-fat, grain based diet.  Even if you aren’t vegan, eating a high-carb diet is going to increase your risk of cancer.

The Study

The first sentence of the abstract reinforces how research has shown a high-carb diet diet is horrible for cancer patients.

“Over the last years, evidence has accumulated suggesting that by systematically reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates (CHO) one could suppress, or at least delay, the emergence of cancer, and that proliferation of already existing tumor cells could be slowed down.”

By limiting carbohydrates, you can decrease your risk of cancer and improve your chances of recovery.  You can also slow down the progress of an existing cancer.

The researchers went even further to suggest a low-carb diet could be preventative against cancer.  So much for “no statistical evidence a vegan (ahem, high-carb) diet contributes to cancer.”

According to this review, a high-carb diet is believed to contribute to cancer in six ways:

1. Cancer cells depend almost exclusively on glucose. The mitochondria of cancer cells are dysfunctioning (because of UCP2), which prevents them from metabolizing ketone bodies or free fatty acids.  Chronically elevated glucose levels feed tumors and cancer cells.  Elevated insulin levels also promote the growth of tumors.

“Evidence exists that chronically elevated blood glucose, insulin and IGF1 levels facilitate tumorigenesis and worsen the outcome in cancer patients.”

The best way to fix this problem is to lower both glucose and insulin levels.  This method is especially effective in people with advanced stage cancer (like Steve Jobs).

“High fat, low CHO diets aim at accounting for these metabolic alterations. Studies conducted so far have shown that such diets are safe and likely beneficial, in particular for advanced stage cancer patients.”

2. High insulin and insulin like growth factor, “resulting from chronic ingestion of CHO-rich Western diet meals”, can “directly promote tumor cell proliferation via the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway.”  High insulin levels from a high-carb diet promote tumor growth.

3. Many cancer patients develop insulin resistance, which can make a high-carb diet deleterious to their health in numerous ways.  As the researchers stated, patients may “profit from an increased protein and fat intake.” (But they didn’t differentiate between good and bad proteins like we do in the Bulletproof Diet.)

4. High amounts of circulating glucose are extremely inflammatory.  Inflammation exacerbates almost all diseases, including cancer.

5. Rodent studies have found ketone bodies to inhibit cancer cell growth.  This has yet to be proven in humans – but the clinical observations are very strong.

6. A grain based diet contributes to inflammation, depletes nutrient stores, and prevents the absorption of nutrients.

Low-Carb Diets: Fasting Without Fasting (for cancer patients)

Caloric restriction is another effective way to lower both insulin and glucose levels, but it comes with some negative side effects.  Cancer patients often lose weight and become malnourished during their treatment, and starving them isn’t going to improve the situation.  Luckily, carbohydrate restriction can take advantage of almost all the benefits of caloric deprivation, without starving the patient.

“CHO restriction mimics the metabolic state of calorie restriction or – in the case of KDs (ketogenic diets) – fasting. The beneficial effects of calorie restriction and fasting on cancer risk and progression are well established. CHO restriction thus opens the possibility to target the same underlying mechanisms without the side-effects of hunger and weight loss.”

By cutting carbs (and adding MCT oil to enter ketosis faster), cancer patients might be able to utilize the benefits of caloric restriction, without cutting calories and suffering from malnourishment.  Speaking of malnourishment…

Grains Are Horrible Even on A Low-Carb Diet

The most interesting part of this study was the role grains played in causing cancer.  Vegans, vegetarians, and most Americans get the majority of their carbs from grains.  As the researchers pointed out, grain based carbs might be the main problem, not carbs in general.

A high-carb diet is bad for cancer patients, but a grain based diet is even worse.

“Usually, CHO restriction is not only limited to avoiding sugar and other high-GI foods, but also to a reduced intake of grains. Grains can induce inflammation in susceptible individuals due to their content of omega-6 fatty acids, lectins and gluten [159, 160]. In particular gluten might play a key role in the pathogenesis of auto-immune and inflammatory disorders and some malignant diseases.”

There are hundreds of reasons grains contribute to cancer, so this article will cover just a few.

Grains cause inflammation by themselves, regardless of whether or not the diet is low in carbohydrates.  This occurs through several pathways.

Grains contain omega-6 fats, lectins, phytates, damaging fiber, and gluten.  Anything that contributes to inflammation will make cancer worse, but gluten has several special characteristics that exacerbate cancer growth.  Gluten overstimulates the release of zonulin, a protein that regulates the space between epithelial cells in the small intestine.  This causes dysregulation between cells which promotes cancer growth throughout the digestive tract.

“In the small intestine, gluten triggers the release of zonulin, a protein that regulates the tight junctions between epithelial cells and therefore intestinal, but also blood-brain barrier function. Recent evidence suggests that overstimulation of zonulin in susceptible individuals could dysregulate intercellular communication promoting tumorigenesis at specific organ sites”

Reducing total carbohydrate load was not nearly as important as removing grain based carbohydrates.  It’s sad to think that Steve Jobs was being told to eat not only a high-carb diet, but also to eat 8-11 servings of “healthy” whole grains a day.

The study authors were quick to offer a solution: the paleo diet.  Both animal and human studies have shown the paleo diet is extremely effective at improving glucose tolerance and decreasing your risk for disease – far more so than the grain based Mediterranean diet.  Switching to a paleo diet would remove grains, and lower the total glycemic index of the person’s diet.   Vegetables have a far lower glycemic index than grains.  Studies have shown this results in better glucose control and less inflammation.

Paleolithic-type diets, that by definition exclude grain products, have been shown to improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors more effectively than typically recommended low-fat diets rich in whole grains [162]. These diets are not necessarily very low CHO diets, but focus on replacing high-GI modern foods with fruits and vegetables, in this way reducing the total GL.”

Even if the diet was high in carbohydrates, it would be better than a low-carb, grain based diet. But none of them would touch the Bulletproof Diet, which also accounts for another major inflammation (and cancer) contributor: mycotoxins.

Cancer: A Novel (Neolithic) Problem

Cancer is a modern disease, and was almost unheard of before the agricultural revolution.  After switching from a high protein, high fat, moderate carb, low toxin diet to a grain based diet, people started getting cancer.

“Thus, the switch from the “caveman’s diet” consisting of fat, meat and only occasionally roots, berries and other sources of carbohydrate (CHO) to a nutrition dominated by easily digestible CHOs derived mainly from grains as staple food would have occurred too recently to induce major adoptions in our genes encoding the metabolic pathways.”

Humans aren’t made to eat a grain based diet.  I discuss this at length in the Better Baby Book, (Wiley, 2012!) and go into detail as how grains negatively effect epigenetics and our health.  Our genes are made to respond to certain foods both positively and negatively.  Cancer is a pretty negative response.

The researchers were smart to mention that diet isn’t the only factor in the development of cancer.  There are other components such as “regular physical activity, sun exposure, sufficient sleep, low chronic stress and the lack of foods that would also not have been available to our pre-neolithic ancestors.”  Okay, so diet was still the most important part.

Before you start ranting about how this only applies to high GI carbs and touting “complex carbs” and “healthy whole grains”, remember that whole grains have an equal or greater insulin response to white flour.  Regardless of the kind of grains you’re eating – they’re still going to produce a large insulin release.

The researchers go on to mention the importance of “sufficient vitamin D.”  This is particularly interesting since grains deplete vitamin D stores and interfere with vitamin D absorption.  There are even cases of people on a grain based diet developing rickets, despite adequate vitamin D intake.  Vitamin D deficiency is yet another pathway by which grains cause cancer.

Should Cancer Patients Go Zero Carb?

No.  As Dr. Paul Jaminet has pointed out, it’s important for cancer patients to avoid glucose deficiency.  Glycosolated proteins are needed for intracellular signaling, so too little glucose can disrupt this process.  Without enough glucose, these proteins can’t form efficiently.  When cells don’t communicate properly, cancer often ensues.  Ketogenic diets have had some success in treating cancer, though it’s not conclusive.  Keeping a small amount of carbohydrates in the diet (about 100g) would be the best option.

The Verdict: Low-Carb Paleo Beats Cancer

This study is one of the best showing a high-carb, grain based diet contributes to cancer.  It also shows a low-carb, paleo diet is an effective treatment for cancer.

Low-carb diets aren’t perfect for everyone.  They’re horrible for endurance athletes, and you shouldn’t eliminate all carbs for long periods of time. But low carb diets can be extremely effective in treating cancer.  Excess glucose feeds tumor cells, and insulin drives the overgrowth of cancerous tissue.  Grains are particularly disastrous as they also increase inflammation, deplete nutrient stores, and serve as a cheap source of carbs.  Reducing carbohydrates should have been one of the first things Steve Jobs tried, but instead it looks like  he was advised to maintain a high-carb, low-fat, grain based diet.  I designed the Bulletproof Diet (moderate carb) to reduce my own chance of an early death, and make myself more resilient to cancer if it does strike. Plus, I like to feel good and have abs too.


What do you think of this study?  What are its strengths and limitations?  Lets discuss in the comments.

Some background research for this post may have been conducted by Bulletproof staff researchers.


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Post date: November 22, 2011
  • Cody McKibben

    What’s your thoughts on the Gerson Therapy?

    I’m curious if you’ve ever looked into that? Similarities?

  • Leiv Hellebø

    “horrible for athletes”? Two Norwegian Elite series soccer teams are doing LC, the Swede Björn Ferry got an olympic gold medal on LC. Norwegian book about it with plenty of references to here

    • Armistead Legge

      Its true that by lowering carbs and training in a fasted state you can increase your body’s ability to use fat for fuel at lower intensities. However, there is a ceiling at which your body will not be able to produce ATP from fat. Period.

      The studies showing an improvement or maintenance of performance on low carb diets were done with untrained subjects. This is completely irrelevant for highly trained athletes. People who go from sitting on their butt to training will always get better at first. Its called the novice effect.

      Most of the studies also did not have a high carb control group, which means they’re pretty useless.

      These studies often use walking as the control activity, which is totally pointless since walking always uses fat for fuel. No one walks there way to winning a triathlon or Crossfit competition.

      Not only is low carb during intense competition/training bad for performance, the massive amounts of cortisol you’ll be producing make it horrible for your health too.

      Just because a few soccer teams go low carb does not mean its optimal. I’d also love to see exactly how “low” carb they are eating during training and competition.

      Carb intake also depends on the sport. Some athletes can go lower than others, but for most sports its disastrous. You also have to define low carb as a gram amount before you can make a rational argument.

      Unless you can show exactly how many carbs Bjorn Ferry is eating, you can’t say a low carb diet is improving his performance. You also can’t say he wouldn’t do better on a higher carb diet.

      • Harmen Jeurink

        Swede Björn Ferry got an olympic gold medal on LC. Muscles burn fat very efficient. No problems with your cortisol levels: only if your body isn’t adapted to fat burning (which is the case with current western diet) excercise without glucose will raise your cortisol levels.

        • Michal Piják

          slaughtered it’s way through central and eastern Europe. With plans to
          control the Black Sea, the Mongol Empire attacks the Roman Empire in
          what is now Turkey and Romania. But who is victorious? That, is for you
          to decide.

          If not for the death of Genghis Khan nothing in
          Europe would have been capable of stopping the mongols heavy compound
          bows, horse back and excellent fighting skills made them pretty much
          invincible in there day.


          Mongolian cuisine refers to the local culinary
          traditions of Mongolia and Mongolian styled dishes. The extreme continental climate has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices is limited. Due to geographic proximity and deep historic ties with China and Russia, Mongolian cuisine is also influenced by Chinese and Russian cuisine.

          See the video:

          You can find more on my FB page:

  • Helen Driscoll

    Has anyone here heard of moringa? It’s a tree native to northern India. Some coverage in Natural News, but it is supposed to be another wonder vegetable: A woman I talked to today from Jamaica (it grows there) swears by it.

    • Kam

      , Hi, from London England , I was brought up vegan and in the last two days after a year of illness and seeing our father die at 50 from throat cancer , he never smoked or drank I have ditched my vegan diet. Our dad had a period of stress where his weight went up from 12 stone to 16 and a half stone I am sure his eating of carbs in his diet fuelled this death , it has been very traumatic as he collapsed and died in front of us , was gone in 12 minutes Only two days off the vegan diet and I feel so different , more alive and full . You are right these diets with grains and high carb are cancer causing and are not a natural diet .


      • Armistead Legge

        Thanks Kam, we’re glad you’re feeling better!

  • liam broadbent

    They are not horrible for athelete, It might take a little bit of time for their bodies to adjust but everyones body will.

    • Tacitus

      ok, then. Which elite level athlete is on a lw carb diet?

  • Hillside Gina

    I read the first article and the comments – seems you have quite a following of Veggie trolls, too bad. Or maybe good – you’re hitting a nerve getting the word out. I went Primal in January with my husband and we’ve never felt better at 51 and 52. The word is getting out. Looking forward to more of your posts – rock on!

    • Armistead Legge

      Thanks Gina – you’re totally right :)

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  • Jeff

    I think a major issue with the veg spam is related to denial. People were given info from trusted (maybe even loved) sources. For example, I was a physic ed teacher that was educated by the food pyramid and chronic carrion models in college. I got extremely sick 2 years ago, and found a good doctor and did my research to find out that my entire college and working career was based on a scam. I have been on a slow road to recovery fuled by a diet that conforms to the bulletproof guidelines. This is another example of qualified/quantified research that supports the majority of the research data completed over the last few centuries (however, very contradictory to the reports and conclusions drawn from many of those same studies).

    • Armistead Legge

      You rock Jeff. Very well said.

  • Anonymous

    “it’s important for cancer patients to avoid glucose deficiency. Glycosolated proteins are needed for intracellular signaling, so too little glucose can disrupt this process.”

    Ever heard of gluconeogenesis? That’s the process where the liver converts proteins to carbs to supply the body’s minimum requirements for carbohydrates, which is why as long as one takes adequate protein to maintain muscle mass, one can do just fine without dietary carbs. If Dr. Jaminet is totally ignorant of this basic process, then he needs to go back to med school biochemistry class.

    • Armistead Legge

      Yes. I have heard of gluconeogenesis. There are problems that can arise on a long term low carb diet, and if someone is dying of cancer, its best not to stress on of their most important organs: their liver.

      • Michal Piják


        The authors of this study
        concluded that Mongolia’s low breast cancer incidence is of particular interest
        because of their unusual diet (primarily red meat and dairy) compared with
        other Asian countries. More intensive study of potential dietary, reproductive
        and lifestyle factors in Mongolia with comparison to other Asian populations
        may provide more clarity in what drives the international breast cancer rate

        Read more:

        I advice you to see attached

        You can find more
        evidence based informations on my FB pages:

        • Glen Macdonald

          Michael, even though the Mongolians have a low rate of breast cancer, they have very high rates of other cancers like liver cancer.

          You can’t just cherry pick out one type of cancer and use that as evidence that their diet is healthy. They also age prematurely and have a high prevalence of obesity.

        • Padraig

          Also rural chinese women who have a practically vegan diet have a rate of breast cancer of about 1 in 100,000. Ever heard of The China Study? What we CAN say is that eating a lot of meat products drastically increases the risk of cancer, but if they are minimally processed meats it still won’t be anywhere near the insane 1/3 western lifestyle cancer standards.

        • Michal Piják


          Are you joking me? Seriously flawed China Study is your argument ?????? I advice you to read this:

          By the way, compare the prevalence of cancer in people living in Tuoli District, which is similiar as Mongolian diet i.e. meat and milk and no fruits and vegetables.

        • Michal Piják

          “……though the Mongolians have a low rate of breast cancer, they have very high rates of other cancers like liver cancer.”

          Glen, the main pathogenetic factor of all those cancers you mentioned is high prevalence of oncogenic INFECTIONS, eg. HBV, HCV, HPV, HP due to excellent conditions for their transmission (overcrowded living conditions, poor hygiene, …).

        • Michal Piják

          I forget to mention, that slight increase in endocrine mediated cancers over the last decade can by explained by increased consumption of carbohydrates, especially cereals and smoking.

    • Anonymous

      You should read the whole discussion before dismissing what Paul Jaminet has to say on the subject. He covers why gluconeogenesis is not sufficient in his view.

    • Jeanmarie Todd

      He’s not ignorant of gluconeogenesis.

  • Adrienne Harvey

    WOW… This is really fascinating! Thanks for sharing. Interestingly, in the year I was vegan I probably ate about 3,000 avocados – that was a rough year, I think the avocados kept me alive.

    • Armistead Legge

      Haha, I would bet so. Thanks for the feedback :)

  • Travburke

    I have been both vegan and paleo and can say that the latter has left me feeling very healthy and fit. I am a distance runner and was skeptical of continue my training without the high carb diet I had always been advised to follow. What I’ve learned through research and self-experimentation is that the source of carbs is far more important that the amount. I get all of my carbs from fruits and veggies and increase my intake during competition. Works wonders for me and my performance continues to increase as does my muscle mass. My vegan friends eats grains without regard and I they all have excess stomach fat and digestion problems.

    • Armistead Legge

      Glad you like it! I do the same thing – keep up the great work.

  • Jim rowley

    When someone is selling something, they have an incentive to distort facts. I saw now peer review evidnce or statements, and only an interpretation by profit motivated authors of a study done in germany. The conclusions seem a bit tooo total and it is hard to see how they were arrived at, when a study is paraphrased

    • Armistead Legge

      Did you even read the article? There were about 15 peer reviews studies, and they didn’t profit in any way from saying grains were bad for you. You’re blaming something on “profit” when this has absolutely nothing to do with it. Maybe you should click on the link in the text and read the study yourself.

      • mhikl

        I suspect Jim has his mind made up and no amount of proof is going to change it. Still, it’s good to live in a free world even if such freedom is often abused.

  • Ines Subashka

    Great article! It is something many pople know, but put together it makes so much more sense! I am definitely gonna spread that message!

    Keep up the great work!


  • Space

    I’ve been vegan for a few weeks and my diet is certainly not “high-carb” or “grain-based”. So I find the beginning of this article very misleading, to say the least.
    Grains are just 1 of the vegan food groups, the others being legumes, nuts and seeds, fungi and vegetables.
    There’s also plenty of vegan food supplements available, and none of the ones I found are based on grain carbs.

    • Dave Asprey

      If you’re vegan, you are eating mostly carbs by definition. Broccoli is mostly carbs too, just not starch. Legumes are nearly as toxic as grains…unless they’re carefully fermented, which brings its own set of risks. Nuts and seeds are high in omega 6, one of the primary vegan problems. (omega 6 mask cellular energy problems for a while). Fungi are medicinally useful, but nutritionally questionable for a variety of reasons, especially smooth cell proliferation caused by garden variety mushrooms. They also feed fungal infections.

    • ajvenom

      Thomas Jefferson loved to garden and said meat should be eaten sparingly as if a seasoning. lived to be a hundred. low carb made me feel great and keep my blood sugar down. i count net carbs and adjust 100 to 200g per day as needed. I eat everything. but mostly veggies and haven’t felt this good in years. low carb has to be the key.

  • Topendsimon

    Love the work that you guys are doing. However, I’m a little concerned about the Upgraded whey powder. My wife is a coeliac and over the years I have been trained to read labels. It states that there is maltodextrin in the product which from my understanding contains gluten. Could you please advise on this?

    • Dave Asprey

      Maltodextrin does not contain gluten! (I wouldn’t eat it if it did – gluten does bad things to me.) From :
      Maltodextrin is gluten free. It can be made from a variety of starches, including corn, potato, rice or wheat. However the source does not matter because maltodextrin is such a highly processed ingredient that the protein is removed, rendering it gluten free. If wheat is used to make maltodextrin, “wheat” will be appear on the label. Even in this case, the maltodextrin would be gluten free.
      In our case, it’s corn based. I don’t like that either, as some people are sensitive to corn. Even *most* of those people can tolerate highly purified maltodextrin. However, it would be great to find a maltodextrin-free version of the MCT powder, but extensive searches around the planet found exactly none available unless I open a new factory to make it from scratch. (that’s a multiple million dollar cost)
      Until then, Upgraded Whey is as safe as I know how to make it. ?

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  • Congobongo

    I don’t get the “paleo diets are horrible for endurance”, I mean, the mongol nomads subsist on a purely meat/dairy diet, lacking fruits, berries, roots or other vegetables, yet they’re able to live a life that most of us wouldn’t stand for one month. And they seem to life long and healthy lifes as well, if you consider the harsh and demanding lifestyle.

  • ChiroLisa

    My vegetarian of 40 years cousin died at age 58 of pancreatic cancer. Even before I knew about paleo, I suspected protease inhibitors to have a role in pancreatic cancer….

  • Bren

    My dad died of renal cell carcinoma several years ago. He was a very big meat eater and preferred a low carb diet. Here is a study concerning the effects of high protein diets and renal cell carcinoma:

    Any thoughts on this?


    • Dave Asprey

      Bren, sorry to hear about your dad. The study from ncbi wasn’t about high protein specifically. They used some trickery in it. The lowest p-value was from grains and potatoes and breads; that means that they were most statistically predictive, although the incidence was higher for meat eaters, it was less predictive (but still predictive).
      The real trickery came when they looked at overall protein intake to point the smoking gun. To calculate macronutrient protein intake, you take red meat protein, and mix it with gluten and soy intake to get “total protein.” So what you’re seeing is not a study that shows meat caused this problem, you’re seeing a study that says a mix of proteins, some toxic, some not, is implicated.
      But even worse, mycotoxins and omega 6 oils and likely heavy metals were present in virtually all of the meat consumed by these participants. Industrial meat is bad for you; I don’t eat it. Avoiding all meat – even grass-fed – because of studies like this won’t help you avoid cancer; it will probably contribute to cancer because you’ll miss out on vital fats and nutrients, and you’ll eat too many omega 6 oils and carbs.

      • Bren

        Thanks so much for your reply Dave! Very helpful! I found your website as I was looking for a different way to eat. I typically eat lots of grains and have a very high carb, low fat, low protein diet. I crave sugar! I’m 50 yrs old now so I imagine it’s normal to have less energy but I am ALWAYS tired and sluggish. I went to the doctor for my check up, lab work etc. and got a clean bill of health. When I began reading about the benefits of a high protein, low carb diet it sounded like something I could try but I was concerned about the link to cancer. Thank you for explaining that to me.
        I decided about 2 days ago that I would start a new way of eating by first cutting sugar out of my diet. Today I feel horrible! I’m more tired and sluggish and just feel like I have bricks in my shoes! I’m not sure if I should continue this course or if this sluggishness will subside soon. I’m always tired but not this bad! lol
        I will continue reading your website and hopefully will be able to change at least a few things in my diet that will result in more energy
        Thanks again!


        • Dave Asprey

          A high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet is better than a high protein low carb diet!
          It’s normal to feel tired as your body adjusts to fat burning mode. They call it “carb flu” and it lasts a few days, then you wake up feeling like a new person. L glutamine will help you feel better as you adjust!

        • Bren

          So it’s been a few days since I took some baby steps closer to eating a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet. Problem: it’s hard to eat a high fat diet when you’re eating low carbs! At least for me. :) Today I ate oatmeal with lots of butter and a little milk, then for lunch I ate an avocado with about 3/4 can of tuna and I had the hardest time finishing it…I am stuffed and my appetite is decreasing. That’s a good thing for me but is this normal? By the way, the L glutamine really helped! I’m going to try your coffee, butter and MCT oil soon. Thanks for your website and help, it is much appreciated! :)


        • Dave Asprey

          It’s normal for appetite to fall on higher fat diets; that’s the effect of leptin levels. No need to stuff yourself, but do not try to limit total calories. Trust your body to eat what it needs.

        • bren

          I’ve been trying to follow the Bulletproof diet (and the Jaminet/Ching) and succeeding most of the time. I’m feeling pretty good but missing the variety I once had in my diet. I have a cup of bulletproof coffee in the morning then I usually have some Noosa yogurt or eggs with spinach or some other veggie. Lunch is avocado, salad, meat or fish with a little rice or sweet potato and maybe some fruit. Dinner is usually the same as lunch. Any suggestions for adding some variety? Maybe I’m just craving the pasta, bread and cereal that I used to live off of!
          Thanks for your website!

        • eve

          I don’t eat cow milk because it’s not paleo and I think casein is the devil (second only to gluten). I highly recommend hemp milk. Hemp milk has 4:1 ratio of fats to carbs/protein and is a great way to increase your total fat count. Do the rest with fatty fish & meat (grass fed!), avocados, nuts, healthy oils, and you can up the fat content of your diet a great amount.

  • Mike

    The next celebrity dying of an excess of trust in WesternBuddhistVeganSyndrome … what a shame ….

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  • roger mason

    the macrobiotic whole grain based diet is the only
    way to naturally cure cancer, heart disease, diabetes,
    and all the other “incurable” illnesses.
    whole grains are the very basis of our diet. whole grains,
    beans, and most vegetables are the center of our daily food.
    we should eat at least 50% whole grains. the longest lived
    and healthiest people on the planet are the okinawans. they
    eat a whole grain based diet, as do the rural japanese.
    roger mason
    wilmington, nc

    • Dave Asprey

      Whole grain worship is delicious, but it destroys your health. The biochemical reactions are well understood, and historical societies that added grain got shorter, fatter, and deformed. Bread tastes good but isn’t food for humans.

      • Manny

        Hi Dave, I dont think you answered the question on the Okinawans who lived 110 years and ate mostly grains by weight, balanced with exercise, fish and vegies. Their cancer rates way lower than most americans. Please explain how they ate so many grains and still had ultra low cancer rates and lived to 110

        • LCforevah

          Manny, I just went to that wiki source you provided and it’s obvious you did not read it! The only grain source cited is white rice, of which the Okinawans eat 3/4 the quantity of other Japanese…. the other carb source is… sweet potato! They eat pork and fish and cook in lard, which is pork fat if you didn’t know! Yellow and green veggies. They eat more soy than we do but in the end, it’s only 6% of their diet. Okinawans have a tradition of eating to only being 80% full, caloric restriction which extends life, is already part of their culture.

          Their longevity is about a spiritual outlook and social network not found in modern societies. Elderly women are the spiritual leaders in Okinawan society. Elderly Okinawan women have the lowest suicide rate of all of eastern Asia. They have friendship networks that start in childhood and continue through to their centenarian lives, that’s for both men and women.

          Manny, do better research.

        • Artur Denysenko

          Are you blind?
          “… However, pork was primarily eaten on holidays, and the daily diet was mainly plant based.[5] Their overall traditional diet would be considered a very-high-carbohydrate diet by modern standards, with carbohydrates, protein, and fat providing 85%, 9% and 6% of total calories respectively.[6] The consumption of pork in Okinawa in 1979 was 7.9 kg (17 lb) per person per year”

        • Ferns

          No, you seem to be the blind one here, dear. LCforevah just made the
          distinction between the consumption of grain vs. root, he never wrote anything about low-carb vs. high-carb

    • Lcforevah

      You’ve made a declaration with no basis in fact, roger. Please cite your sources.

      I’ve been drinking Bulletproof Coffee for eight days now, and I can’t believe how good I feel–have lost three pounds–it’s been impossible with other methods! I use wet-hulled Guatemalan beans and Kerrygold butter–yum!

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  • Rob D

    Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses new ways to think about cancer and how cancer arises in human beings.
    2-11-2011 – Why We All Don’t Get Cancer – Sloan-Kettering

    At 27:00 of the presentation:
    “We are starting to understand it matters what you eat. …It matter where your calories come from…. We now have good evidence in model organisms. If you overfeed someone with fat you don’t increase their cancer risk at all. You overfeed somebody with carbohydrates and you dramatically increase their cancer rate and protein is halfway in between. And that is why we are going to have a huge debate about these carbohydrate based diets.”

    • Jeanmarie Todd

      Thanks for sharing that!

    • jonadenz

      Wow–believable and eye-opening! Thank you for sharing.

  • eve

    I was on a vegan diet for about 2 years (my boyfriend now husband is vegan. He was cute. I was in love…) I developed chronic fatigue syndrome (the really severe myalgic encephalomyelitis “sub-type,” not the CFS some folks get diagnosed with for simply being a little sluggish or because they have a gluten allergy), severe neurological and mitochondrial problems, immune issues, and thyroid cancer. I was bed-bound for five months and had to use a wheelchair (although many days I wasn’t well enough to even sit in a wheelchair). I’ve been eating a high-fat, moderate protein paleo diet for about three months, with a good amount of green veggies and very little fruit (half an apple a day, sometimes some berries). My neurological symptoms were reduced by 50% in the first week and disappeared entirely after the first month. In this last week I can say that I am at 90% of normal and convinced I’m on my way to a full recovery. I think some people can tolerate a vegan diet better than others. I have a sensitive brain, and my vegan diet just wasn’t good for my CNS or my immune system. My husband, having witnessed my experience, is starting to eat small amounts of meat again and has stopped being afraid of fat. I may still end up losing my thyroid, though. In the end, it wasn’t worth it, but I’ve learned the importance of listening to my body and really interrogating the evidence. I felt, long before I got sick, that I didn’t have the same level of energy or resilience that I used to have, and that my brain was permanently foggy, slow, or underpowered. I was 28 and I told myself that I was just getting older…never occurred to me that it was my diet! Now, when I eat a super fatty piece of meat, my brain lights up like a light bulb.

    • Laura

      What’s your blood type out of curiosity? I have a friend who is following the blood type diet, although there has been no scientific proof that it’s legit, I’m just curious to know what your blood type is… type O’s are supposed to thrive on meat while type A’s thrive on a more vegetarian diet…

      • Carelyn

        But … I am blood type A and stayed pretty strictly on the Eat Right 4 Your Type Diet most of the time for about 8 years, in conjunction with the Zone Diet (which is 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs). Every time I went off this, I felt lousy. Back on it, I felt better than I ever did when I was 20 years younger. Twice now I have tried a vegan diet, still sticking with the ER4YT guidelines, and, both times, it has been a disaster for my energy levels. Initially, I lost some weight and had high energy. Then, gradually, I got depressed and extremely tired and de-motivated. This is in spite of good quality supplements, organic foods, pure water, etc, etc. This last time I have stayed on the vegan diet for about 2-1/2 months but today resolved to never do this again. It just does not work for me at all. I avoid gluten, so it’s not that. I am going to do the Bulletproof Diet and will report back on how it goes. My instinct is that I should have stuck with my own instincts about what I need and not get talked into the vegan diet in the first place.

    • Boldog03

      GMO soy is pure estrogen no wonder you had thyroid problems. You have to get non-GMO soy.

    • Shiprex

      That’s the endorphins having to power up your digestive system to deal with the incoming low quality nutrition.

  • Jolita Šakmanait?

    steve died because he was force fed eggs and fish at the end of his cancer stages, by doctors to “make him better” but he got cancer 30 years ago, and his vegan diet kept it at bay for a very long time. dr macdougal has video on this.

    • Padraig

      yes and it’s been confirmed many times since that eggs spread cancer by large high quality studies that expected to find nothing in line with their mainstream beliefs. These people are such liars and they have real human blood on their hands as well as animal blood. I simply don’t understand where all this low carb “paleo” nonsense comes from. Paleo man never ate low carb at all except when there was none available, every primate prefers fruit. Paleo man HATED animal protein except when it was the last resort. Some of these people are clearly deranged individuals. I mean look at the last header “The verdict: low carb improves cancer”… if this were a parody blog post of a crazy so-called “paleo” individual I would say this part is too strong, too ridiculous and too utterly insane.

      • Keith Taylor

        “Paleo man HATED animal protein except when it was the last resort.”
        Please show me where you came upon this information.

        • Shiprex

          Time travel and asked him

        • Keith Taylor

          I thought I recognised the profile photo: you’re that bunch of vegevanglists who tried to stop my brother and me from killing the aurochs until Hurf hit one of you on the head with a shin bone.
          Now you have the cheek to come back here and lie about our diet to these people! Next time, I’ll just let the cat eat you.

        • Shiprex

          have you been munching those mushrooms again? Your brain has become addled with plaque from too much flesh in your daily scoff.

          You look like you fit into this bracket so here’s something that may be of interest to you

          STAY AWAY FROM THE FLESH is the basic message if it’s too long an article for you. Unless you fancy an early night on the slab.

        • Keith Taylor

          You have the wrong guy: I’m a MEAT eater, not a mushroom eater … but you wouldn’t know the difference, not having experience with the former.
          I told you at our first meeting during the aurochs incident and, since you have forgotten, I’ll tell you again: MEATIVORES EAT VEGGIEVORES.
          I won’t stay away from flesh … hell, I’ve even found myself being guilty of enjoying indulging in the SINS of the flesh AND, to top it all, I’m unrepentant about it.
          Now go away and play with your peanuts … and leave me to enjoy my meat.

        • Shiprex

          It was you who had the wrong guy. I wan’t around in the time of Aurochs and have evolved since then to have command of the ability to choose. It’s called consciousness and this leads the inquisitive human mind to discover things about the place we live in and how we are not CARNIVORES but some choose to be CARNIST because it is a conscious choice like a TERRORIST chooses to carry out acts of terror or RAPIST carries out acts of rape. .

          Since you seem to know so little about things I can enlighten you.

          Human jaws closely resemble those of FRUIT eating mammals or FRUGIVORE that they may munch down on the odd beetle, worm, ant or rat doesn’t make them an OMNIVORE you carnists keep screaming about being.

          CARNIVORES have vastly different jaws that look and operate very differently (perhaps this is a reason the the flesh diet of modern Western cultures has such a high instance of diet related disease).

          Human digestive tract length is more like those of HERBIVORES (completely plant eating organisms) when compared to overall size. The CARNIVORE has a much shorter length because of how flesh rots quickly (perhaps this is a reason the the flesh diet of modern Western cultures has such a high instance of diet related disease).

          Human digestive secretions match more closely those of herbivores and frugivores throughout the digestive process.

          Shout and scream about how you are trying to be natural to your inner caveman but that is like the bible, a story made up by man. Early humans most likely foraged for fruit and plants long before they thought of running after deer, cows, pigs and even chickens (all of whom would out run any human not to mention the effort expended in doing this would outstrip that gained from actually catching and killing it which is another they didn’t have free medical care in caveman days to deal with the undoubted clashes with horned deer, cows or even pigs so chances are humans would either have scoffed the leftovers from actual carnivores (i.e. roadkill) or taken out the sick or injured (more risky job than just munching on the fruits and berries all round you in the first place.

          So in conclusion you are not a MEATIVORE or a CARNIVORE you are a wannabe who never could be because you likely don’t eat flesh raw. That’s natural.

        • dave

          Keith, you are clearly a moron. Go back to your television cartoons and pretend you never had this conversation.

        • Keith Taylor

          Of course I’m a moron: who else would communicate with the likes of you?!

  • sebastian

    What kind of carbs do you recommend and how should they be consumed?

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  • Picaboca

    My uncle followed a Paleo diet for over 15 years. He died last year of liver cancer that spread through-out his body. Yes he was strick on Paleo because he had Celiac so avoiding grains was not a problem. People make me sick. The one case of a vegan that died of Pancreas Cancer and all the saliva dripping wolves jump on it. How do explain things like “fat sick and nearly dead” or “Crazy Sexy Cancer”

    • paleogal

      The Aussie who documented his journey in “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” avoided all grains. He only consumed fruits and veg. His health was severely compromised requiring drastic measures – not something most people who go Paleo would have to contend with.

      • Padraig

        Anecdotal examples of one person this or another person that are all you have to base things on while large epidemiological studies following hundreds of thousands of people all showing that cancer risk goes up almost linearly with animal consumption are ignored, it’s ridiculous. Sure you won’t get cancer like average joe with his drinking, burgers, chips, possibly tobacco and heavily processed foods etc., that’s hardly something to write home about.

        Also “paleo man” would have rather stuck sharp flints in his eyeballs than eat animal protein over fresh, tasty fruit. Paleo man only (barely) survived with a high amount of animal protein because guess what? There was nothing else. The neanderthals who ate even more animal protein for all intents and purposees went extinct (there are indications of a small percentage of crossbreeding with modern humans). Paleo man HATED animal protein except when he was starving and there was nothing else. The paleolithic era last a long time, however it was only towards the end of it that man started eating a high animal protein diet. It’s all the blink of an evolutionary eye compared to our great ape ancestry. What you “paleo” are claiming is counter to evolution and to common sense.

        • dave

          Padraig, not sure where you are getting that “paleo man” hated meat BS. Untrue. There is no proof anywhere that shows that. Hell, man has been running buffalo off cliffs for hundreds of thousands of years and eating them. Stop making stuff up.

    • naturodoc
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  • calzo

    Dear Dave, as per in the BBC documentary ( doctor) (quote the article) “according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo … there is now evidence suggesting that IGF-1 levels can be lowered by what you eat. Studies on calorie restrictors suggest that eating less helps, but it is not enough As well as cutting calories you have to cut your protein intake. Not entirely – that would be a very bad idea. It’s about
    sticking to recommended guidelines, something most of us fail to do.”

    Do you agree with that?

    I read you said time to time that protein restriction is good (but I could not find any specific post yet), plus The Bulletproof Diet prescribes only 20%of energy coming from proteins.

    Are your IGF-1 levels low or high?


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  • jondoeuk

    Cancer cells have up to 92 insulin receptors compared to a normal cells 4. However our bodies run on glucose and meat & dairy can and do fuel certain cancers. Cancer cells thrive in a low PH environment, don’t require and hate oxygen and consumes huge amounts of glucose.

  • Joe

    Dear Dave, have you allowed for the fact that you may be biased and perhaps seeing only what you want to?

    When I read this article I get the feeling that you really want to believe in this, but realise that the research isn’t there yet.

    This isn’t a criticism – it’s just a comment. I think we all have to be aware of our beliefs and how they affect how we view the world and everything in it.

  • Will Lanni

    Why I read your blog / articles / etc:
    “As always, the best course of action is to look at the research.”

    Yes. Thank you so much. I’m so tired of hearing “I THINK this is a good idea… (based on some gut feeling / opinion from someone’s uncle’s cousin’s sister’s brother-in-law / etc)”. Really refreshing to read through your information sourced from research. :)

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  • Maya

    A vegan diet does not mean a high carb, grain based diet! It is too simplistic to say a vegan diet itself caused anything. The actual foods eaten must be examined in all cases and also any other factors that may have contributed. There are unhealthy vegans just like there are unhealthy meat eaters. If the vegan diet is varied, with lots of vegetables, some fruit and focuses on unprocessed foods (as all diets should be) and also includes healthy fats, sprouted/soaked nuts, seeds and legumes with very limited sprouted, selective grains…it is the healthiest diet around. Meat/dairy are inflammatory. The production of meat/dairy is bad for the environment, the economy, the poor animals that suffer and most of all bad for your body. Meat and dairy are nutritionally inferior to what is available in a plant based diet. This is easy to see on any nutritional analysis…meat and dairy don’t measure anywhere near the vast nutrients both macro and micro in vegetables and fruits.

    • Steven Fowkes

      Meat and dairy are not inflammatory. Unless they are. Grains and nuts are not inflammatory, unless they are. It is our reaction to those foods that is inflammatory, or not. With natural grains, nuts and natural meats, inflammatory rates are lower than with bred, GMO and processed grains, nuts and meats. But in either group, grains are more inflammatory than meats.

      Before you accept the vegan model as supremely healthy, look at the data on the long term affects of veganism on the human brain. Even the adult human brain has higher risks on a vegan diet. With children, it is far worse due to their extreme growth requirements.

      Too many people compare apples to armadillos with the anti-vegan and anti-paleo polemics. Just because eating bad meat has bad effects does not mean that eating good meat cannot have good effects. Yet that is the standard argument. Very few people think that the health effects of eating processed foods reflects on eating raw and un-processed foods. But they do not apply the same standard to meat.

  • Shelly

    Ugh people get cancer and die. It sucks and its sad. Exercise, eat right(whatever that means for you) and avoid highly processed foods, vegan or otherwise. There are other factors at play such as genetics and environment. Honestly I think vegan, vegetarian and paleo are the only reasonable diets out there. I’m vegan btw. Sorry to hear that some people have had a negative experience with following a vegan diet, but that could be because you were not focused on the nutritional aspects, but rather focused on simply eating vegan food(Oreo cookies are vegan). Since I switched to eating a plant based diet I have felt a lot better, I sleep better, have no tummy problems(I was beginning to have gallbladder issues among other things), less headaches. And I go for a full physical yearly so I know I am getting the nutrients I need.

    • Shelly

      Don’t take food advice from anyone other than an MD. When I googled cancer causing grains the only people are found were people claiming to be nutrition experts despite the fact that they were trained as dentists or psychologists. If I learned anything from college it’s that statistics and scientific data can be misleading if you don’t know what you are looking at.

      • Lmore

        I don’t trust doctors, but I do believe that a vegan diet can be a healthy way to live. It’s just a LOT harder for most people to do it healthily than than the HF/LC way, and that’s coming from a lifelong vegetarian. My diet was always “healthy grain based” and I’ve always eaten lots of “healthy” whole grains, legumes, vegetables (okay that took me until my early twenties), nuts, and fruit. Most people who spent a lot of time around me called my diet “healthy.” Cheese and yogurt were fairly common in my diet, and I’d eat fish and eggs occasionally. Apart from periods of depression, my calorie intake was always between 1300-2000/day with a reasonably active lifestyle. Yet a few months ago, I found myself, at thirty years old, feeling like I was on the brink of death. I was short of breath all the time, having chest pains and dizzy spells, and eighty pounds overweight. I had severe knee pain that made it difficult for me to get up and down stairs, which was awfully inconvenient since my apartment is on the second floor and my office is in the basement of a 100 year old building. I explored veganism and juicing, but, despite my enthusiasm after watching all of the gimmicky documentaries, I was ALWAYS hungry and tired and miserable. I worked out several days a week for anywhere from one to three hours at a time. None of it was making a difference. I found Wheat Belly and Bulletproof and started looking into more and more about carb reduction and health. After one week giving up wheat (JUST wheat), I lost seven pounds and didn’t have joint pain anymore. I’ve been following a semi-strict (I occasionally eat chips at Mexican restaurants, knowing I’m going to pay the price) Bulletproof diet, using the coffee and intermittent fasting, for about five weeks. I’ve lost twenty pounds and I feel like I’ve lost fifty. I haven’t been to the gym once and my muscle tone is improving. Bowel movements have gone from having diarrhea 5+ times a day to one nice solid movement first thing every morning, like clockwork. To any health-conscious vegetarians out there (as opposed to animal ethicists, which is a totally different life choice), if you are considering giving this lifestyle a try, go for it. If you are eating what you’ve been told is a healthy diet, but you’re still fat and feel like crap, chances are, your “healthy whole grains” are killing you.

      • Steven Fowkes

        This is poor advice. The opposite is true. Never take food advice from an MD. They are almost completely ignorant of the scientific literature on food, are not taught it in medical school, and only know what they pick up from JAMA and mandatory medical education conferences that are funded by drug companies.

        Right on about the misleadingness of statistics and scientific data. In fact, there is a new trend to allow “scientific” conclusions in peer-reviewed papers that are unsupported by the evidence presented in the papers. Somebody else mentioned the China Study, which is a good example of reaching a conclusion by statistical means from flawed data, and then stating it as a conclusion before it is validated by a controlled study. So far they have yet to be right. Caveat emptor.

        • Padraig

          I don’t know about “never take advice from an MD”, some alternative medicine practioners are MDs and have in a way “seen it all”. However if there’s an MD or “Dr.” in front of the name I will know not to take them seriously until they prove they they can be because they have the clown label on them.

        • ab

          I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer about 25 years ago. After an orchiectomy (removal of a testicle) Doctors all recommended that I get another surgery (Never ask a barber if you need a hair cut). The risks no surgery and a 25% chance that I still have cancer and 75% I don’t. The surgery called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is not pretty and can leave you impotent and sterile.

          I opted against their advice to go under a monitoring protocol and 25 years later I’m cancer free and have 2 wonderful children.

          Always look out for yourself and never fully trust a doctor, always check on them.

  • AcaciaG

    Steve’s cancer had been developing since he was in his 20’s. By the time he was diagnosed with cancer, it was already in it’s later stages, so really, there was nothing that could have been done to save him. His diet would have only prolonged his life if anything. This article is a complete pile of garbage. High-carb, low-fat vegan is the best chance you have against cancer. No questions asked. Anyone who thinks otherwise should read The China Study (based on over 20 years of SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH) or check out some of John. McDougall’s lectures. It’s funny how the author here is stating that a low-carb (restrictive) diet is great for health both nutritionally and defending the body against cancer, but that a high-carb vegan diet depletes the body of nutrients. Then, he states that the paleo diet is best for cancer patients. Are you kidding me? Sure, loading the body up with rancid animal proteins (which feed cancer cells) sure seems like the way to go! Cancer patients have poor immune systems, so restricting nutritional intake will only make matters worse. How could loading up the body with nutritional whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts) possibly INCREASE your cancer risk? What a load of bull! And don’t even get me started on diabetes. McDougall, Fuhrnam, Ornish, Barnard and Campbell have been REVERSING diet-onset diabetes for years. How many doctors have managed to do the same by encouraging low-carb/paleo diets and prescribing medication that only makes the condition worse an ensures a lifetime of battling the so-called disease?

    • Steven Fowkes

      The scientific research of the China Study may seem good to you, but I think it is crap. The team behind it has not been right once (!) when their conclusions were tested by experiment. Every time, their conclusions were 100% statistical and not actually applicable to reality.

      Nuts add omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids to the diet, which is a known cancer risk. So is carb overconsumption that leads to insulin resistance, regardless of whether it is vegan, paleo, or SAD.

      A small percentage of people with terminal cancer get well when they stop eating. This has been noted in countless hospice programs. Many get well enough to get discharged from hospice, whereupon they resume their eating habits and die quickly.

      Ketosis has an anti-cancer effect. One can induce ketosis on a SAD, vegetarian, vegan and paleo diet. And one can overeat sufficiently on any of these diets to prevent ketosis. It is very, very hard to consume enough raw-vegan food to block ketosis perpetually. The energetic cost of digestion is so high and the calorie content so low. But it is possible. So it is not just about the diet type, but rather how it is implemented. So your evidence that Ornish reverses diabetes is not sufficient to establish that paleo does NOT reverse diabetes. In fact, it does.

    • paleogal

      The China Study has already been determined to be flawed.

      I don’t know anyone on Paleo who eats “rancid” animals.

      Grains are fed to animals to fatten them up – they do the same to people. All my “grain fed” friends have excess weight and many are vegans.

  • John

    “Grains contain omega-6 fats, lectins, phytates, damaging fiber, and gluten.”

    Really? All grains contain gluten? Clearly a well researched article you morons.

  • kappy

    I heard an MD, Ph.D oncologist who works for Kaiser Permanente give a talk last night. Guess what? He’s vegan, and it turns out that more and more doctors, especially oncologists, cardiologists and internists are switching to a vegan diet. He said there are two reasons for this: 1) the successes of patients who did not do what their doctors recommended, but cured themselves nutritionally, through a healthy, plant-based, unprocessed vegan diet; and 2) the snow-balling effect of a mushrooming number of studies that show time and again that people reverse heart disease, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, auto-immune diseases and cancers through a whole, healthy vegan diet. This Kaiser doctor now treats his patients nutritionally, supplementing with other treatments (often meditation, acupuncture, massage, etc.) and using chemo, etc. only when he believes it would help.

    This is great news because there is another aspect to making food choices that goes beyond considerations of what we might believe about our own personal health choices. In my youth I was an environmental activist, working to save native rain forests on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I made my home. Two of my children became vegetarians as soon as they understood that eating meat meant eating dead animals. I resisted this, as I believed back then that animal protein and the calcium in dairy were important components of a healthy diet, but my children stood up to me, as children often do, and over the years I learned to support them by learning to cook vegetarian at home. As for myself, I continued to eat meat, chicken, fish, and any and all dairy products, except milk. It took me a long time to come to the realization that I can no longer consider myself to be an environmentalist if I eat animal products. The more I have learned about the devastating, long-term effects of eating animal protein on climate change and its impact on the future lives of my own and everyone else’s grandchildren, I have come to the conclusion that, since having found a way to be a profoundly healthy vegan who eats a wholesome, plant-based diet (I especially recommend The Starch Solution by John McDougall, MD) I have no excuse for eating animal products anymore. Knowing what I now know, eating animals would feel self-indulgent and reckless. Even if I could only eat eggs from my own free-range, organically fed chickens and eat cows raised under the best of conditions in local pastures, how realistic is it that this option is available to very many people on this overcrowded planet? I’m not part of the solution if I participate in the behavior that must be changed.

    Keep in mind that elephants, camels, hippos—even rhinos—grow to be enormous and healthy while eating a diet of grasses, leaves and seeds! They have no problem getting enough protein or calcium to thrive and grow strong bones. Our human teeth resemble those of herbivores far more than the sharp, meat-ripping teeth of carnivores, and without refrigeration available in Paleolithic times, one has to question the accuracy of the paleo emphasis on the hunter aspect of the ancient hunter-gatherer diet. I would suggest it might have been the other way around, with seeds, berries, leaves, nuts and tubers as the basis of a daily diet in many localities, that may or may not have been augmented with an occasional kill. For those people who really want to eat like cavemen and women, killing the animal yourself, carving it up and eating it raw might be the way to go. For anyone wanting to be vibrantly healthy, while also supporting a healthier planet, watching the movie “Forks Over Knives” is an eye-opening experience.

    • Renny

      Kappy, I couldn’t agree more, especially all the views on the environment. I think the negative views on a “vegan” diet are related to people eating a poor diet but simply without animal products. A bad vegan diet is still a bad diet. To me, a proper healthy vegan diet means eating lots of whole food vegetables, lots of green leafies, beans, mushrooms, roots (onions, garlic), berries, nuts, seeds, fruits, and good sources of fat like avocado and flax seed. Small amounts of pulses, grains (NOT wheat), rice, and reasonable amounts of good starches (sweet potatoes, root veg, etc.) are good. Also, supplementing with Vitamin D and ensuring you get enough Vitamin B-12. Bagels, bread, pasta, granola bars, or any other type of highly processed, non whole-food “food-like” products are not really food, but are simply ways of delivering high-GI foods with no nutritive value. Forks Over Knives, and Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Furhman and John McDougall are on the right track. Also, I too highly recommend McDougall’s video on Steve Jobs. Given the size of the tumour, it was extremely likely that his cancer started very early in life due to his exposure to soldering all those early circuit boards and was not related to diet.

    • Rafa? B

      So far I know elephants and long living parrots also suffer aetherosclerosis, even they do not eat animal food at all. Isn’t it strange? I know many doctors and dietitians who recommend something they don’t follow. Some of them are fat vegetarians and all-eaters, who order to eat veggie. Many MDs (including) oncologists smoke, eat processed foods and just don’t care. My friend’s father, who has lung cancer due to smokig, was even bigger smoker than him. How could he help him? (My fiend’s father died).

      Thus, please don’t prove us that “more and more doctors, especially oncologists, cardiologists and internists are switching to a vegan diet”. Let they be healty. But remember: low carb-high fat diet, as well as vegan are beneficial, since provide low and/or natural (not processed carbs). And this is the common denominator. Other approach may be high carb diet (again: with natural carbs), but with almost no fat and with relatively high addition of good proteins (as Okinawian).

  • Azoil Strigidae

    low or no glucose in your diet is very unhealthy. This new trend of no glucose, doesn’t people the proper nutrition to properly metabolise food. You don’t get B-vitamins. What people are allergic to is pseudo glucose that comes from enriching food: fake glucose. Breads use to be a variation of sour dough, now they are enriched white bread. As it is well established, white breads, lack all kinds of nutrition.

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  • John

    Look up Dr. Mcdougal Steve jobs on YouTube before you bash the vegan diet. Vegans don’t care about paleo people eating meat. Do a little more research before you try to feel better about your bad habits.

    • Ferns

      “Vegans don’t care about paleo people eating meat.” Sure, that is why you are here, trolling.

  • Meow

    Most vegans have a grain based diet? Are these the same vegans who consume Bisquick, Pilsbury Crescents, Fritos, Oreos, Doritos?

    How does this relate to me, a healthy vegan who’s grains account for less than 5% of his diet?

    I have the same muscle mass and weight that I did a year ago when I started cold turkey and I’m still loading 100 bags of concrete a day at Ho Depot with no problem whatsoever.

  • NutritionGal

    If I’m not mistaken….IGF-1 is found abundantly in all meat and dairy, regardless of if it’s grassfed/organically raised livestock or factory farmed. It is designed to grow little tiny babies into large beasts. Yes, it has a huge affect on cancer and tumor growth, I have one myself. The fact that you mention it as high in a high-carb diet means you may be selectively choosing your research and proof to further your own opinion, without doing all of the research on both sides. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • NutritionGal

    The other thing I think we’re failing to mention here is that Pancreatic cancer is among the most deadly forms of cancer, no matter what you eat. The fact that he lived with it and fought is as long as he did speaks magnitudes.

  • Boldog03

    Ok Steve Jobs didn’t go vegan until after he found out he had cancer. He thought he could cure it threw a vegan diet. His cancer had a 95% cure rate with modern medicine.

  • Chris

    I am a cancer researcher and I want to point out two misleading points in the article:

    1) Cancer cells can metabolise ketones. Ketone bodies have even been shown to promote cancer progression (Ref:

    2) IGF-1 is correctly stated as a contributor to cancer, but it is not said that the most important source of IGF-1 is dietary protein, especially animal protein (Ref:

    • Elizabeth Corcoran

      Hi Chris, So clearly you’re reading all this stuff – the mixed messages are very confusing. what would you eat if you had cancer? I’m quite curious. Thanks Liz

    • Tam Visher

      I’d like to follow both of these links but they lead to “not found” pages

  • jonadenz

    Your article lost its credibility when the topic of Cancer being a MODERN disease came up. Of course it isn’t! What makes sense is what scientists studying disease in ancient civilizations concluded recently, that “Cancer frequency in present populations is much more related to HIGHER LIFE EXPECTANCY than primary environmental or genetic factors.”

  • Bell Wilder

    I think what bums me out the most in these types of diet discussions is lack of focus on the detrimental effects these high animal protein diets have on the slaughter of animals, the environmental damage of slaughter houses, the over consumption of meat for “human” health and no regard for the well being of all earthlings. You may feel better, look better and have proof of such transformations. I know how amazing it must feel and you want to share it with the world. I get that. The problem is, there won’t be much of a world left if we don’t stop this push for a “caveman” existence. There must be a happy medium that slows down the killing and consumption of animals and still helps you maintain your “healthy ketosis”. Yes, I’m an animal rights activist but have no delusions that the world will ever stop eating meat so I focus more on the cutting down consumption as well as the elimination of slaughter houses. I think with our knowledge and extensive research it is possible to meet those needs but not with diets that push the major consumption of animals. It’s just such a selfish act. We are ALL worth saving.

  • Cheedoo

    How do you counter the most recent study from USC then? That shows protein spikes IGF-1 and by definition IGF-`1 feeds cancer… a high protein diet like Paleo is absolutely going to cause a spike in a person’s IGF-1 levels. I’m not a vegan, and in general I have tried to follow Paleo, but recent research INCLUDING this USC study is worrying — as is the at this point irrefutable proof that IGF-1 does cause cancer to grow at more speed.

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    The studio proves NOTHING about eating a high-animal protein diet and preventing cancer. It talks about sugars and quick starches contributing to tumor growth, but that is not news. The connection between sugars and cancer growth has been made long ago…
    You can eat a diet low in sugars and white starch and be vegetarian or vegan. You can be gluten-free and be vegetarian or vegan. You can also eat plenty of saturated fat and be vegetarian or vegan…the healthiest tribes have been shown to consume a large amount of coconut.
    The study does NOT show that high animal consumption lowers cancer growth. There’s thousands of studies that show the opposite…there have yet to be any long-term studies on this. And the author is obviously biased, and incorrect in his anthropology listings, his says “Thus, the switch from the

    ” the switch from the ‘caveman’s diet’ consisting of fat, meat and only occasionally roots, berries and other sources of carbohydrate…”

    This is absolutely untrue. The amount of hunting that a tribe would have to do is impossible, especially considering the high energy expenditure of hunting. Almost every tribe in the world has a starch as the main staple of their diet…yams, tubers, cassava root, potatoes, palm starch, etc. Gathering plant foods and fruit is a more dependable food source that takes much less energy than hunting.

    So, I still have yet to see a single study done on the long-term affect of animal protein consumption, except to show it has an increased risk of cancers, heart disease, and even appendicitis.

  • Doug bananaboy

    yup hospitals are filled with low fat vegans
    people reverse heart disease diabetes cancer by eating lots of animal
    eating animal keep you out of hospitals

  • Gord

    Cancer is a PH disorder of the body, eating higher PH reverses this. John Hopkins University has admitted this.

    I eat raw spinach as it’s the top ash burn Ph food on the planet and will reverse the cancer. I was sent home to die 4 yrs ago and today I’m healthier and fitter after adding 1 thing to my diet. Raw Spinach.

    • dewdroppings

      raw food alkalises the body. Also chewing lots alkalises cooked food…

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  • dewdroppings

    I just got a slightly sarcastic comment on my blog Furious Curious Cancer Survivor on Word press about me having written many posts without prescribing the way I did it.- survive for 6 years 90% naturally. This comment is from a newly diagnosed lady who is looking for a miracle cure perhaps. I would rate the raw low glucose vegan diet as the safest after diagnosis without knocking paleo. I felt lousy after going vegan and I had low blood sugar I am sure…but now I am no longer vegan and still thriving.

  • Ray

    my wife has been suffering from thyroid cancer which was confirmed to be stage four, the doctor told me there was little she could do since she wasn’t responding to treatment but my brother in law came to our rescue by ordering this hemp oil from rick Simpson foundation which he said has been helping some patient fight against cancer of various types so we decided to give it a chance, so far my wife is improving perfectly very well and presently she can walk around the house all by herself. I felt its necessary i let others who are suffering from this acute disease that once you have a good hemp oil it can really give one a sound second chance of living. if you happen to be in need of this hemp oil you can contact the foundation who supplied my brother in law with this email: [email protected]

  • TommyTCG

    Vegan diet.? Even gorillas will stop eating veges when their body tells them it’s animal fat and protein time. they don’t resume eating veges till a large rat is eaten. Chimps do the same, but will tear to bits and eat another chimp from another family group.
    According to H R Clark, PhD, ND, when a person is on a low saturated fat diet, the double cell membrane, of your trillions of cells, which is comprised 40% of saturated fat, is compromised, Then, the necessary players that start and fuel all malignancies can gain easy entrance to cells. These players are nickel from poor stainless steel, that chelates the cancer nucleus and cancer complex into the cell, plus the other necessary players, such as specific parasites, bacteria, viruses, moulds, dyes, heavty metals etc.

    At Dr Clark’s clinic, any cancer patient who had been on a low sat-fat diet was stuffed with cream, egg yolfks etc to restore integrity to the cell walls.

    Dr Clark carried out over 1/2 million reproduceable, so scientifically VALID bio-resomance tests to identify these causes and pathways of ALL cancers.

    Re The pancreatic cancer of Steve J.. In Dr. Robert Good, of the US, the world leader in immunology, who carried out the first bone marrow transplant, and had published over 2000 medical papers by the mid 1980s, discovered the nutrition based, enzymatic CURE for pancreatic cancer. He was refused publication in ALL the now exposed as corrupt med journals on the excuse that his ideas didn’t fit in with accepted concepts,

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  • Arthur Haines

    Great article with a lot a good research. Thank you for making it available. However, it does fall prey to the same anti-grain philosophy of paleo diet proponents, that is both out-dated and incorrect. The statement that people should avoid grains because they contribute to cancer is contradicted by real-world observations of people who consumed grains as a staple and lived healthy lives, free of chronic disease, and (most importantly) could have healthy, well-formed children. This includes the Anishinaabe (Great Lakes region, two species of wild rice), some isolated Scottish people (Outer Herbrides, oats), and others. Every argument made against grains in general (in your writing) is only true of some grains or true of unprocessed grains (i.e., wild and some heirloom kinds that are properly processed are nutritious foods). the anti-grain message is simply over-simplified. The statement should read something like this (so as not to contradict what we know about indigenous and traditional cultures): eat less grain (i.e., diversify your diet), choose wild and heirloom types, and select gluten-free kinds. I think you would benefit from reading this blog post: Despite these comments, I really do appreciate and value this piece of writing you have provided. Ktankeyasin (take care of yourself).

  • mike

    Let’s see–who will i trust–Asprey or McDougall, Fuhrman, Esselstyn, etc-hmnn–or the “many” reputable
    studies that show IGF 1 contributes to cancer–there are tons of them.

  • James Connell

    I am James Connell My wife has been suffering from thyroid cancer which was confirmed to be stage four, the doctor told me there was little he could do since she wasn’t responding to treatment but a friend of mine came to our rescue by ordering this hemp oil from RICK which he said has been helping some patient fight against cancer of various types so we decided to give it a chance, so far my wife is improving perfectly very well and presently she can walk around the house all by herself. I felt its necessary i let others who are suffering from this acute disease that once you have a good hemp oil it can really give one a sound second chance of living.
    by chance if you happen to be in need of this hemp oil you can contact RICK who supplied I and my wife with this email: [email protected]

  • anon

    what about c60?

  • The Cure

    This is so confusing… Dave, can you please address the grass fed meat consumption levels that you would set if you had stage 3+ cancer. I have read everything and this one issue is still hard to decide upon. Most research says that the mycotoxins produced by the cancer create the high ph environment that allows it to grow. I understand that grassfed meat is theoretically low in mycotoxins, but these are different from the mycotoxins produced by the cancer. The popular info says avoid all animal protein because it is too acidic and therefore conducive to cancer growth. So – if a regular bulletproof diet is high grassfed animal protein, what would the variation for a cancer patient be?

  • Carl Smith

    I still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to Rick Simpson and his wonderful cannabis oil that cured my ailment. In May 2014 i was diagnosed of Melanoma Cancer, it affected my Skin, intestines and eye.. i went for treatment but to no avail, my family advised the rick hemp oil for my ailment, at first i didn’t want to purchase the oil, because i had doubts about it curing my cancer, but after reading about it and doing researches online, i succumbed to the idea, and indeed it was a wonderful one, the cannabis oil successfully cured my cancer!!! after Three months.
    Now i am Hale and Healthy…….. you can contact Rick Simpson on
    [email protected]

  • Star Steppin

    Keto diet is best for cancer. Keto does not mean paleo. Keto can be, and I have done raw. One day cancer treatment will be largely via autoimmune and individuated based on the patients liver and other genetics, cancer genetics, microbiome, and microbiology. It is fact no ones body processes food the same. my tumour grew FAST on high carb fruitarian diet.

  • John Drive Williams
  • Orland Crew

    When I was told by my doctor I had only 6 months before my lungs

    cancer could mean a stroke or heart attack I was beyond devastated.

    After reading the cancer cannabis oil miracle cure, I had to contact

    Rick Simpson on email:

    [email protected]

    which I eventually made order for

    the medication which arrive within 3 days of order.

    I started treatment and implementing what you teach I was noticing

    almost instant results! It’s been 89 days and my lungs cancer is

    finally under control, no matter what I eat or do with my life.

    My doctor, aside from being totally confused by my recovery has said I

    am now no longer a lungs cancer sufferer anymore, and it’s all thanks

    to what you showed me.

    Thank you, I am forever grateful.

    Get your own medication by contacting rick on email;

    [email protected] or

    Mobile +16786678019

  • Orland Crew

    When I was told by my doctor I had only 6 months before my lungs

    cancer could mean a stroke or heart attack I was beyond devastated.

    After reading the cancer cannabis oil miracle cure, I had to contact

    Rick Simpson on email:[email protected]

    which I eventually made order for the medication which arrive within

    3 days of order.

    I started treatment and implementing what you teach I was noticing

    almost instant results! It’s been 89 days and my lungs cancer is

    finally under control, no matter what I eat or do with my life.

    My doctor, aside from being totally confused by my recovery has

    said I am now no longer a lungs cancer sufferer anymore,

    and it’s all thanks to what you showed me.

    Thank you, I am forever grateful.

    Get your own medication by contacting rick on email; at

    [email protected] or

    Mobile: +16786678019

  • Orland Crew

    When I was told by my doctor I had only 6 months before my lungs

    cancer could mean a stroke or heart attack I was beyond devastated.

    After reading the cancer cannabis oil miracle cure, I had to contact

    Rick Simpson on email:[email protected]

    which I eventually made order for the medication which arrive within

    3 days of order.

    I started treatment and implementing what you teach I was noticing

    almost instant results! It’s been 89 days and my lungs cancer is

    finally under control, no matter what I eat or do with my life.

    My doctor, aside from being totally confused by my recovery has

    said I am now no longer a lungs cancer sufferer anymore,

    and it’s all thanks to what you showed me.

    Thank you, I am forever grateful.

    Get your own medication by contacting rick on email; at

    [email protected] or

    Mobile: +16786678019

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