The Anti-Cancer Diet: A Practical, Common Sense Approach to Prevention

I’ve been thinking a lot about cancer these days. Perhaps because I’ve lost over a dozen family members, friends, and colleagues to this toxic disease over a course of only five years. Indeed, cancer is undoubtedly widespread and deadly with forecasts of nearly 1.7 million diagnoses each year and over 575,000 related-deaths in the United States alone.

On both professional and personal levels, this statistic is especially disturbing to me, particularly since I’ve encountered so many “health” conscious people who’ve contracted numerous forms of cancer in spite of having exercised regularly and followed “proper” nutritional and dietary guidelines for prevention.

The fact of the matter is that doing so just doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop the disease.

That’s just chilling!

Still, I’m oftentimes asked: “What foods prevent cancer?” This is always a difficult question for me to answer.

Although I’m a passionate health scientist who researches the impact of lifestyle-related factors on numerous chronic diseases, I’m not an oncologist. Nor will I ever compromise my professional credibility by claiming to possess some holistic nutrition secrets to preventing tumor growth.

Well thought out, well-researched suggestions are what I have.

In and of itself cancer is a complex process. Furthermore, despite ongoing research and technological advances, the general variability of cancer manifestation and progression has rendered its prevention a matter of no small difficulty, particularly when it comes to lifestyle and behavioral modification approaches.

Needless to say, when offered the opportunity to review Dr. David Khayat’s international bestselling book titled The Anticancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Risk Through the Foods You Eat, I jumped at the chance. With good reason too as Dr. Khayat is not only a world-renowned oncologist, but he’s also been branded “The Doctor Who Led France’s War on Cancer”.

Surprisingly enough, in a span of less than 10 hours, I literally read each and every page of this book with eager anticipation and with the utmost rigor and scrutiny. To say the least, I was quite impressed by the thoroughness, candidness and sheer open-mindedness Dr. Khayat displays in this inspirational and compelling work.

He doesn’t offer up a set of unsubstantiated, cookie-cutter recommendations based on false or misleading claims, propaganda and fear mongering, as many so-called health experts and “specialists” have. A far cry from the norm, this book is a well-referenced, realistic guide to cancer prevention that emphasizes a practical, common sense approach to adopting sustainable eating patterns in an individualistic sort of way.

In the introductory chapter, Dr. Khayat provides a general yet informative overview of prevailing trends and practices in cancer prevention. He also gives readers a basic rundown of the scientific methodologies behind these approaches starting with the simplest, most widely used methods (epidemiological studies) and ending with the most complex but more meaningful ones (experimental and intervention studies).

In doing so, Dr. Khayat arms consumers with baseline abilities to distinguish thorough studies with sound explanations from flawed studies with unsound assumptions. As a research scientist, I wholeheartedly appreciate this informative approach, especially given the fact that questionable research has fueled a large majority of food-shaming, cancer propaganda campaigns today.

Clearly, everything we eat or don’t eat causes cancer these days!

Statistical significance in one or even a dozen research studies doesn’t necessarily imply truth. This holds particularly true when flawed research methods are employed. Dr. Khayat does a wonderful job of separating widespread, unsubstantiated knowledge from actual truths.

In the various chapters of this book, he deliberately lays out all the potential anti-cancer benefits of various foodstuffs (vegetables, fruits, fiber, wine, and green tea), particularly in relation to their direct effects on known cancer-causing agents. I especially like the fact that he cares not to oversimplify or even embellish upon the possible effects of such foods just for the sake of appealing to readers.

Ever heard that: “Raw organic vegetables and fruits can cure cancer”? Well, you won’t find such gibberish in this book.

The bottom line here is that blanket statements don’t heal!

Dr. Khayat also addresses virtually all the man-made controversies including those surrounding consumption of red meat, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. However, instead of drawing lofty conclusions like “aspartame causes cancer” he simply presents the real proof along with reputable citations for further reference and then leaves the final decision to you as the newly informed reader.

Quick Spoiler Alert: Aspartame DOES NOT cause cancer! I’ve already written about it and it’s confirmed in the book.

Related Article: Is Aspartame Making You Sick and Fat?

In one of my favorite chapters entitled “Sugars and Sugar Products: Don’t Cut Them Altogether”, Dr. Khayat puts a meaningful spin on the great sugar debate, obviously in response to the many “pseudo-specialists” (his label, not mine) who’ve taken a slew of scientific ideas totally out of context and formed faulty conclusions to defend a bunch of faulty assumptions and fallacious claims, like “sugar causes cancer”.

This might sound a bit harsh to some but it’s real talk!

In all actuality, the one thing that does increase the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases is excess body fat.

Plain and simple!

Just like anything else, taking in too many sugars and sugar-based foods will likely lead to weight gain and potential obesity. The same holds true for consuming fats and/or protein-rich foods in excessive amounts. So, let’s not thrust the cancer-scare on those who choose to eat sugar-containing foods in moderation. As emphasized in this chapter, the link between sugar and cancer is way more complicated than folks make it out to be.

In order to drive home the importance of weight control in the fight against cancer, Dr. Khayat fittingly concludes this book with a chapter entitled “Keeping Physically Active Keeps Us Healthy”. Obviously, this chapter isn’t focused on any specific food or food group but the valuable information it contains is absolutely critical for anyone seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle aimed at cancer prevention.

Not only does regular physical activity promote healthy weight management, but it also plays a major role in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence in individuals who’ve successfully battled this disease.

What more incentive do you need?

Related Article: Five Interesting Ways to Exercise Without Exercising

Now, in an effort not to totally spoil the read for you, I’ll go ahead and conclude by saying that The Anticancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Risk Through the Foods You Eat is one book that everyone should own. Although I make it a practice to remain abreast of ongoing cancer-related research, I can honestly say that I’ve personally gained a lot of valuable insight from this work.

While adhering to Dr. Khayat’s recommendations and advice doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop cancer or even have a recurrence, doing so will definitely put the odds in your favor.