The Cancer Wisdom Podcast

                     Published: October 27, 2023 Host: Simon Persson

The ketogenic diet for cancer will not help you reverse cancer. Eating a plant-based diet is way better if you want to stop it. In this episode, I will explain the dangers of the ketogenic diet for cancer and why you should avoid it. 

Learn about this diet's seven common low-carb myths and why you shouldn't use it to prevent cancer.


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The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer. This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.


  • The ketogenic diet started when doctors at the Mayo Clinic treated epilepsy patients in the 1920s.
  • Carbohydrates, or carbs, are simple or complex sugars from plants, fruits, beans, or grains.
  • Fats are often found in animal products, nuts, avocados, oils,  and a little in fruits and plants
  • Protein is part of vegetables and fruits, but there's way more in meat.
  • The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet.
  • The ketogenic diet is a meal plan where about 60-75% of your food consists of fat, 15-30% protein, and 5-10% carbs.
  • The goal of this diet is to reach a state called ketosis.
  • Glycogen consists of glucose, or sugar, mixed with water.
  • The body uses glycogen to store excess glucose when it needs it.
  • Your brain runs off glucose, and it's primary  energy source.  
  • Ketone bodies from the liver can work as an emergency backup fuel for your brain.
  • The body uses ketones when you starve.
  • Insulin is like a key that unlocks the door to our muscle cells.
  • Insulin resistance is when our muscle cells can't receive insulin.
  • Fat causes insulin resistance, not carbs.
  • Humans are inefficient at converting glucose into fat under normal conditions.
  • Humans are herbivores and thrive when they eat fruits and vegetables.
  • The ketogenic is a high-protein diet.
  • Starving yourself of sugar will not prevent cancer.
  • Meat can cause cancer and other serious issues.
  • Eat a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Vegetables are our body's perfect food.

What You Should Eat Instead Of The Ketogenic Diet For Cancer

1. Read The Ultimate Cancer Diet and Nutrition Guide

2. Eat a plant-based diet

Read The Ultimate Cancer Diet And Nutrition Guide For Free

cancer surgeries

Read this guide for free and learn everything you need to know about a plant-based diet. Discover more about macro-nutrients and 

micro-nutrients, and how to eat to be healthy.


Episode transcript:

Simon: The ketogenic diet will not help you reverse cancer. Eating a plant-based diet is way better if you want to stop it. In this episode, I will explain the dangers of the ketogenic diet and why you should avoid it.

Learn more about this diet and seven common low-carb myths, and also discover why you shouldn't use the ketogenic diet to prevent cancer.

Intro jingle: Welcome to the Cancer Wisdom podcast. This podcast teaches you how to treat cancer with natural remedies without using toxic treatments. Discover how to take charge of your health and not be a slave to Big Pharma medicine. Here's your host, Simon Persson.

Simon: So, the weight loss industry is a huge business. There are many different diet fads that are coming and going.

One popular food trend right now is the low-carb diet. In 1972, Atkins published his book, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. So it was a huge success and sold millions of copies.

He taught people you could lose weight by eating more fat and protein. Finally, people could eat their favorite food and still lose weight.

Atkins praised foods like pork rinds, meat, and cheese, and he condemned carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread and potatoes. And to him, insulin was poison to the body and caused weight gain.

But the funny thing was that Atkins himself was overweight, and he had a heart attack in 2003 and died at 72.

There are many different incarnations of the low-carb craze. One popular one is the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet started when doctors at the Mayo Clinic treated epilepsy patients in the 1920s.

People who had low blood sugar levels or starved had fewer seizures. Therefore, the doctors wanted to create a diet that mimicked this starvation mode.

There are three macronutrients that we all need for optimal health: carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are simple or complex sugars from plants, fruits, beans, or grains. Fats are often found in animal products, nuts, avocados, oils,  and a little in fruits and plants. Protein is part of vegetables and fruits, but there's way more in meat.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. The diet only allows a maximum of 30 grams of dietary carbohydrates per day. The diet prohibits carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and grains. Instead, you eat a lot of meat, dairy, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils.

The ketogenic diet is a meal plan where about 60 to 75 percent of your food consists of fat, 15 to 30 percent protein, and 5 to 10 percent carbs. The goal of this diet is to reach a state called ketosis.

But to achieve this state, you're only allowed to eat a small number of carbohydrates. So, we store excess carbs as glycogen in the liver and our muscles. Glycogen consists of glucose, or sugar, mixed with water.

The body uses glycogen to store excess glucose when it needs it, and when the body depletes glycogen store, it then goes into starvation mode.

The body will then use your stored fat as an emergency energy source. The body then starts to create ketones in the liver to digest the fat in your body and use it as fuel.

Your brain runs off glucose, and it's dependent on carbs for energy.   But ketone bodies from the liver can work as an emergency backup fuel for your brain, and then it's able to use fat for fuel.

But it's not an ideal source of energy. It should only be used in an emergency. When you remove carbohydrates in the ketogenic diet, what's left is protein and fat.

Therefore, this diet consists primarily of meat and fatty foods. You eat a lot of fat and protein to control your hunger signals, and because you're in starvation mode, your weight loss can be rapid.

But most of the reduced weight is because of water loss. The ketogenic diet also reduces your desire to eat. And therefore, you eat less food, and that lowers your caloric intake.

One side effect of the ketogenic diet is nausea, which makes you eat less. Ketones also affect the kidneys,  which results in even more fluid loss.

Eating a ketogenic diet becomes boring quite fast. It's an extremely restrictive diet, and that's the reason why so many people give up.

 When promoters of the ketogenic diet say that the body's natural way to digest food is by using ketones, they are misleading you. It's like saying that the gag reflex is a natural mechanism to lose weight by vomiting. Therefore, we all should support bulimia.

Now, I'm going to talk about seven low-carb lies that promoters tell you and why they are false. The first one is insulin is poison to the body.

Advocates of the ketogenic diet tell you that insulin is a fat hormone and poisonous to the body. They claim that carbs in fruits and vegetables spike your insulin and are bad for you.

Promoters also tell you that fat reduces the secretion of insulin and makes you less prone to diseases. But saying that insulin is bad for us is misleading and dangerous. Every day, your pancreas creates insulin.

So insulin tells the body that it's time to receive glucose, and when insulin attaches to the insulin receptor of the cell, it activates enzymes, and this process makes it possible for glucose to enter the cell.

Insulin is like a key that unlocks the door to our muscle cells. If there's no insulin, the cells can't receive the sugar, and it gets stuck in the bloodstream.

 A consequence of this process is something called diabetes. So, we get type 2 diabetes because of insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is when our muscle cells can't receive insulin. The reason why more people have diabetes is because fat gets stuck in our cells, and therefore, glucose can't reach the cells.

It's only when you eat too much fat, as in the ketogenic diet, that you create more insulin resistance.

When you lower your fat intake, your insulin resistance will also go down. When you clear out the fat from the blood, your body can use sugar again.

 Imagine that insulin is like a bell. When your mother wanted to tell you that dinner was ready, she could ring a bell. And when the kids heard the signal, they went to the kitchen and started to eat.

But imagine that, for some reason, you weren't able to ring the bell. Maybe something got stuck in the bell, and then your kids weren't able to hear your signal, and the food then went uneaten, and then the mother had to throw everything away because no one was there to eat it.

Insulin is not the enemy. The enemy is eating too much fat. So when you eat less fat and lower the fat in your body, insulin works better and better.

The reason why you might not experience the side effects of diabetes is because you eat less carbohydrates.

But you didn't fix your insulin resistance. A high-fat, high-protein diet is effective at reducing your blood glucose level in the short term, but you haven't healed it.

And many people become more insulin-resistant. You won't experience sugar spikes on the ketogenic diet because you don't consume many carbs, and you haven't addressed the underlying issue and made it worse.  Insulin is natural. We need it to digest food.

If you can't generate insulin, your body dies. So, sugar from carbs is the fuel that every cell in our body needs for energy, and it's not a poison.  Why would the body create something poisonous?

The ketogenic movement also argues that protein causes no increase in insulin. But meat causes the body to use more insulin than vegetables.

For example, beef raises your insulin more than whole grain pasta. Therefore, eating animal products is the best way to create more insulin resistance.

The reason why diabetes is on the rise is because more people eat meat. The best way to reduce insulin resistance is to eat complex carbs and reduce your fat intake.

The second lie you will hear from a keto promoter is that carbs make you fat and are not needed by your body.

Fat in the American diet is the biggest culprit behind our rising obesity. Excess carbohydrates don't turn into body fat that easily.

When we eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into simple sugars, and then your body absorbs these sugars into the bloodstream.

It then transports the sugar to trillions of cells throughout the body for energy. If you eat excess carbohydrates, your body will store it in water in glycogen, which I mentioned before. Your body can use excess glycogen as body heat or use it when you exercise.

Your body can turn carbs into fat in a process called de novo lipogenesis. It's a process that  pigs and cows use to convert carbohydrates into fat. However, humans are inefficient at converting glucose into fat under normal conditions.  

There's a 30 percent conversion rate to turn carbs into fat. Why would the body turn carbs into fat when you could use it as direct fuel?

The only way to turn carbs into fat is if you eat an excessive amount of carbs or you eat carbs together with animal products.

For example, when you eat a cake, there's a lot of margarine, butter, and eggs, which will make you fat, not the flour or the carbs.

And if you go to McDonald's and  eat their french fries, the potatoes will make you fat, not because of the potato itself,  but because of the oil.

Keto promoters often say that there is nothing  as an essential carbohydrate. But your muscles, liver, and other tissues are capable of using glucose. If carbohydrates weren't necessary for the body, why is it capable of utilizing them?

Your body can use  amino and fatty acids for energy, but the brain works better with glucose.

The primary function of insulin is to help  transport glucose out of your body and into your tissues. And the secondary effect of insulin is to  move fatty acids out of your blood and into your tissues.

Therefore, many people may believe that insulin will make you fat. But labeling insulin as your fat storage hormone is incorrect.

 If carbs make you fat, why are Asians slim and healthy even if they eat tons of rice? They have less diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than western countries. Americans who eat lots of animal products, oils, and processed foods are one of the sickest populations in the world.

If fat doesn't make you fat, why are so many people in the west obese? It's not because they are eating a lot of carbs. Instead, they eat mostly animal products and foods with a lot of fat.

If carbs are not essential, then why can vegans survive and thrive on eating 80% carbs? Vegans also have a healthier BMI than meat eaters, and they also have less cancer.

Another lie that keto promoters say is that humans are carnivores. Carnivore means that your body's built to eat meat. Every animal on the plant has their perfect diet.

 Meat is an ideal food for carnivores like cats and lions. Cows and horses are herbivores and feel best when they eat plants such as grass. And they would get sick on a meat diet. Humans are herbivores and not meat eaters.

If you look at our bodies, it's obvious that we should eat plants. If you compare us to carnivores,  you can see big differences. One example is the mouth.

Carnivores have a big mouth in relation to their head size. This gives them the advantage of catching, killing, and cutting their prey into pieces.

Humans have small mouths, and we can move them side to side like a cow. And when you look at dogs and other carnivores,  they can only move their mouth up and down.

They need to do that to cut the meat into smaller pieces.   Carnivores like lions have sharper canines needed for ripping apart their prey.   Our teeth are much smaller and are better for chewing the food.

And a carnivore's stomach is capable of holding a lot of food. The carnivore stomach contains 60 to 70 percent of the total capacity of the digestive system.

And a carnivore kills on average once a week, and then they digest the food for the rest of the week. A large stomach is helpful because it allows animals to eat as much meat as possible at one time.

They can then digest the food later while resting. Our stomach works more like herbivores, and the acid in our stomach is not great at breaking down meat.

And if you look at our hands, we are good at picking fruits and vegetables. If we were carnivores, we would have claws to catch prey and hold them down.

If we were carnivores, why don't we have claws and an instinct to kill? We can't hear the same frequencies as other carnivores. Carnivores can hear a rat underneath the ground and know where it is. But we don't.

And most people lack the instinct to chase and kill animals. I know many people who are afraid of seeing blood.

If we were carnivores, we wouldn't be scared of blood or gore. We can't have this mental block if we were meant to eat meat. I remember one time at school when we had to dissect a squid. Some girls couldn't do it, and they felt disgusted by it.

 If more people went to the slaughterhouse and saw what they did to animals, most people wouldn't be able to eat the meat.

I saw an episode with Gordon Ramsey. He's a big meat promoter, and he doesn't like vegans. But in one episode, he was supposed to kill a deer or something like that. But he wasn't able to do that.

So, how can we be meat eaters when we don't feel like killing animals? And when you look at our body types, we are not built to chase animals. Some people can be really tiny and  weak. Other people can be bigger, heavier, and slower.

If we were meant to kill animals,  we would have the same body type and strength  to kill animals. But everyone can pick fruits, berries,  and vegetables without a problem.

 Humans' intestines are long, and if you look at carnivores, they have short intestines, and that's because they need to get rid of the flesh as fast as possible. And if the meat stays in the colon too long, it will start to rot and cause problems.

Another interesting fact is that humans have no protein or fat receptors on our tongues, and that's the reason why meat is tasteless. Have you tried to prepare meat without using any seasoning? If you haven't, then you know that it tastes like  cardboard.

A time ago, I lived together with a lot of people, and everyone had one day where they were supposed to make food for everyone.

 And one guy he always made chicken or pasta bolognese and didn't use any seasoning. And the food had no taste.

The reason why cheese tastes good  is because of excessive amounts of salt. Without the salt, the cheese would taste dreadful.

Animal products also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. If meat was our preferred diet, why are we getting so many diseases?

Another lie that keto promoters say is that the ketogenic diet is  a low protein diet. So, according to science, it's dangerous when 15 percent of the total calories from your diet come from protein.   

Too much protein can lead to protein toxicity. The standard American diet, or the SAD diet, contains, on average, 16 percent calories  from protein or more.

If most of the food in the ketogenic diet comes from animal products, then it's impossible for it to be low in protein. The food used in the ketogenic diet includes cheese, meat, poultry, nuts, vegetable oils, coconuts, eggs, butter, fish, seeds, or avocado. So most of the food they eat, except for oils and nuts, is not only high in fat but also protein.

If you eat this way, you will exceed the dangerous 15 percent protein level. And the only way they can lower their protein is by eating more fat from vegetable oils or nuts.

But vegetable oils are not healthy at all. They are the most calorie-dense substance you can eat and are  essentially empty calories,  like white sugar.

The only thing you get from vegetable oils is concentrated calories and nothing else from the plant. Cold pressed olive or coconut oil is not any better.

Vegetable oil is what white sugar is to carbohydrates. The only difference between oils and white sugar is that oils contain 100 percent fat, and white sugar is 100 percent carbs.

Another lie you might hear is that the ketogenic diet improves your health and prevents cancer. The scientist Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells mostly use sugar as energy instead of oxygen. Therefore, many people believe that you need to restrict  carbs to stop feeding cancer cells.

But there are no long term studies that show that a ketogenic diet can prevent cancer. And the ketogenic diet also encourages you to eat foods that can lead to more cancers, such as animal products.

One study showed that cancer cells can use fat as an energy source if they have no access to sugar. Cancer cells can adapt and use any energy source that it finds. Therefore, starving yourself of sugar will not prevent cancer.

I made a podcast episode before  about sugar  and why it doesn't cause cancer. You should listen to that episode after this one.

There are many long term side effects of the ketogenic diet, such as diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, nausea, vomiting, and heart disease.

A ketogenic diet can also cause a loss of appetite and restrict one's calorie intake, and that can explain why your cholesterol, sugar, and triglyceride levels  may go down.

But you can lose weight on any diet if you restrict your calories. It doesn't mean that the food is healthy. You can eat a candy diet, and if your calorie intake is below a certain value, you can lose weight.

For example, if you need 2000 calories to function well per day, and you eat 1500 calories of candies, you can lose weight. But that doesn't mean that your diet is healthy. Chemotherapy can also suppress your hunger drive and reduce your food intake, and that can lead to weight loss.

It can also  lead to lower cholesterol  and triglycerides. But that doesn't mean that we should promote the chemo diet. It's still unhealthy.

It's toxins that manifest cancer and not carbs. So, if you eat a lot of fat and meat, your body will become toxic, which can cause cancer.

Cancer develops in toxic environments, and toxins lower the oxygen. Therefore, cancer cells need to use sugar as an alternative  energy source. And if it can't find any sugar, it will use fat instead.

Sugar might seem to be the problem, but it's the meat  that causes the dilemma. Vegetables and fruits alkalize your body. When you eat animal products, you make your body more acidic and more prone to cancer and other problems.

A plant-based diet has been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. So why not try a diet that is proven to work? And why should you try the ketogenic diet when it's still experimental?

Cancer can still feed on fat if there's no sugar. There are also no long-term studies of the ketogenic diet. Most of them are only a couple of weeks.   

Another lie that  keto promoters say  is that animal products are good for your body. Animal products are high in fat and protein and promote obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Too much protein from animal products can overwork and damage the liver and kidneys,  and meat is also acidic. And cancer cells  develop in acidic environments. Meat contains no fiber, and we need fiber to create healthy poop.

Vegetables and fruits provide a lot of fiber, which helps your digestion. When you eat animal products, you start to get digestive issues. When I stopped eating animal products, my digestion became way better, and I started to have several bowel movements per day instead of every second or third day.

Another bad thing in animal products is cholesterol, which only exists in animal products. The liver creates  cholesterol every day, but excess cholesterol is bad for our health.

Animal products contain several things that may increase your cancer risk. One example is IGF-1, a growth hormone that makes cancer cells grow faster. We need IGF-1 at the beginning of life when we need to grow.  

But as we grow older, we don't need to create as much IGF-1, and excessive IGF-1 can raise our cancer risk, especially breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer. It can also lead to premature aging.

Another dangerous thing in meat is heterocyclic amines, which are chemicals formed in meat or animal products during cooking. Heterocyclic amines develop when you prepare meat at a high temperature  or  open flame. They may lead to cancer.

Meat also contains unhealthy saturated fat, which promotes cancer. Dairy products are one of the leading reasons people have excess body fat.

Milk is food for calves and not humans. Calves need dairy to grow fast. It's also high in calories, fat, and cholesterol and promotes heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

We shouldn't be afraid of carbs from  whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Instead, we should be fearful of too much fat and meat.

The last lie that keto promoters say is that grass-fed meat is healthy. When you criticize meat and tell keto promoters that it causes a lot of health problems, they mention that it is because of factory farm animal products that are full of antibiotics and industrial chemicals.

And then they tell you that processed meat is bad because  you give the animal the wrong diet. Many animals thrive on grass, and when we feed them grains, it causes inflammation and bacteria growth.

So technically, grass-fed meat should be better than the meat that we buy in the store. But even if grass-fed meat has fewer chemicals, it's still meat, and it will still cause inflammation and problems in our bodies.

Inflammation is the body's attempt to protect itself from harmful stimuli. If grass-fed meat was our primary food source,  why does it still cause inflammation?

Populations that eat a lot of meat don't live longer than us.    For example, the Maasai   is a tribe  in Southern Kenya or Northern Tanzania.

They are cattle ranchers and eat a lot of meat, including organs, and drink a lot of blood. But they only live for 40 or 50 years on average.  

And if you look at the Inuits, known as the Eskimos in Canada, New Greenland, and the United States, they also die young.

They eat a lot of seafood, blubber, and fat. The rest of the diet consists of berries, kelp, flowers, and nuts. Inuits are not healthy.

They suffer from many chronic diseases and live on average ten years less than Canadians. Inuits have  the worst longevity of all populations in North America and die of cancer and stroke.

Grass-fed meat is not much healthier than factory farmed meat because you are still exposed to IGF -1, HCA's, and too much fat and protein.

In a previous podcast episode, I talked about the Blue Zones. So, in 2009, Dan Buettner wrote the book The Blue Zones. He went to places where people lived the longest.

Their diets were, for the most part, plant-based. And the Blue Zones rarely ate meat. At most, they eat maybe once a week or on special occasions.

The meat was more like a side dish and not the primary diet like in the west. If grass-fed meat is so fantastic, why didn't Dan visit the Inuits or the Maasai tribe?

You can eat beef from cows grazing on the holy hills of the Himalayas under a moon eclipse. However, it will still cause diseases and other problems, and that's because it still contains IGF-1, saturated fat, heterocyclic amines, and everything else that's bad in animal products. We are herbivores and  not great at eating meat.

Eating the ketogenic diet will only raise your cancer risk and not lower it. A way better way to reduce your cancer risk is by eating a whole food plant-based diet.

It's not the carbs that we eat that make us sick. It's the meat and dairy. Carbohydrates are the human body's primary fuel source. The brain, red blood cells, and kidney cells need glucose.

A whole food plant-based diet consists of whole, unrefined plants or fruits. It's a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes. And it's devoid of meat,  including chicken and fish, dairy products, oils, and eggs.

You should eat a high carb, low-fat diet. When you eat this way, you get all the macronutrients that you need. You also get enough protein and fat when you eat a plant-based diet. In the western world, we have an obsession with protein,  and many believe that it's our most critical nutrient.

It's also very common to believe that  we need to eat a lot of animal products to be lean, muscular, and healthy. But most of us eat too much protein, and we need much less than we believe.

When you eat a whole food plant-based diet, you get the right amount of protein, and you don't need to eat animal products to get enough protein.

 And it's plants that create protein. Cows get their protein from the grass, and when some other animal eats that cow,  they get  the protein from the cow that originally came from the plant. So why not cut the middle man?

Plants contain the right amount of fats for our needs and have no cholesterol, and you don't need to restrict foods or count calories on this diet.  

When you eat a ketogenic diet, you need to look at your macros all the time. If the ketogenic diet was a natural way to eat, why do you need to monitor your macros all the time?

When you eat a whole food plant-based diet, you get everything you need, as long as you eat certain food groups, and your macros will be 80 percent carbs, 10 percent protein, and 10 percent fats.

You can reach those macros by eating fruits, vegetables, beans, and few fatty foods like nuts, seeds, or avocados. If you follow this way,  you will always reach 80/10/10, and you don't need to obsess over your macros like with the ketogenic diet.

When you eat a whole food plant-based diet, you don't need to restrict foods or count calories  as long as you eat the right kind of food. So you can eat delicious food and remain healthy, and you don't need to count your calories or starve yourself.

Vegetables are our body's perfect food. It's also the diet that the healthiest people on earth eat. So why should you try an experimental diet that is not healthy? Focus on something that has been proven to work and can reduce cancer.

If you want to learn more about eating a whole plant-based diet, read our guide, The Ultimate Cancer Diet and Nutrition Guide.

It tells you everything about different macronutrients and micronutrients  and how to eat to be healthy. You can read this guide for free without signing up. Thank you for listening to this episode,  and I'll see you in the next one.

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About the Show

The Cancer Wisdom Podcast teaches you how to treat cancer with natural remedies without using toxic treatments.

Discover how to take charge of your health and not be a slave to Big Pharma medicine.

Your host:

Simon Persson

Simon Persson is a holistic cancer blogger passionate about natural health remedies. When he is not blogging, he enjoys nature, cooking, sports, and learning about the latest gadgets on the market.


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