Thursday Thoughts: To snack, or not to snack?

Last week was the first of the new Thursday lunch time ‘weekly chat’ sessions: a chance to get together each week to discuss all things related to breast cancer, diet and lifestyle.

The issue that seemed to be on our minds was the urge to snack: more literally the urge to take a handful of something instant, crunchy, and uber tasty and put it into our mouths. We agreed that lockdown, with more time on our hands and in the home, makes snacking a more pressing issue.

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Triple Negative? Let’s find some positives!

Triple negative breast cancer accounts for around 15% of breast cancers, and it is a more diagnosis common in younger women. This subtype of breast cancer tends to share similarities with BRCA-related disease, being more likely to be linked to faulty DNA repair and reprogrammed cellular metabolism. TNBC tumours don’t exhibit the over-expression of oestrogen and growth receptors found in other forms of breast cancer, and this lack of modifiable receptors tends to be seen as bad news. But all it really means is that we don’t currently have any specific adjuvant medical treatments, which makes it all the more important to look for other modifiable factors, such as diet and lifestyle.

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Cancer and Coronavirus: where are the synergies?

“If you can keep your immune system while all around are losing theirs…”

I hesitated before using, or rather abusing, this Rudyard Kipling quote because there’s nothing funny or flippant about the state we and our loved ones find ourselves in. Nevertheless, with no medical treatments available for coronavirus, maintaining a strong immune system is the name of the game. Cancer patients will be all too familiar with this dilemma and, in many ways, the advice for coronavirus builds on what you already know. Natural medicine, as far as we know, cannot stop you becoming infected, nor can it offer a cure, but research suggests you maybe able to reduce your chances of hospitalisation by improving your metabolic status. Continue reading

Ketosis is not a party trick

For some time I have been concerned about the widespread use of the ketogenic diet as a sort of ‘party trick’. If you look online for ketogenic foods you will come across all sorts of crazy food combinations that seem to offer the ability to stuff your face with chocolate flavoured fat, or mountains of bacon and eggs, with no metabolic consequences. Even before I start thinking about the biochemistry, something fundamental in me knows that can’t be right. Continue reading

The ketogenic diet: why the switch is more important than the fuel

It’s three years this month since I wrote The Dissident Diet, based on my own experience of losing three stone, and a pilot study carried out with 16 people who needed to do the same. At the time it was ground-breaking, and more than a little brave, for a professional nutritionist to recommend a ketogenic diet when so many people in nutrition and medicine felt it was dangerous. Continue reading

Cancer: Game On

In 1971, president Richard Nixon declared war on cancer when he signed the National Cancer Act. At the time the scientific community was confident that we were no more than a decade away from a cure; their confidence based on a new understanding of DNA and the observation that cancer tumour cells all seemed to contain significant DNA, or gene, mutations. Continue reading

Four Food Rules for 2014

We could hardly have got it more wrong. All these years you’ve been depriving yourself of butter on your bread when it’s the bread you should have been worrying about!

Twenty thirteen was the year when the volume of opinion in favour of low carbs for health (not just weight loss) was impossible to silence, and when the evidence started to stack up.

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