Paleo Ketogenic Diet

Atkins Diet Misconceptions: Ketogenic diets and Cancer Risk

In this video, which is a reaction to friend and fellow firefighter being treated for cancer and venturing into a vegan video (and being slandered and attacked – ), I respond to the theory that consumption of animal products (aka delicious meat, eggs, and cheese) on a ketogenic diet like Atkins leads to a higher cancer risk.

First the detractors and their comments:
“Another Harvard study showed that women with the highest intake of animal fat seem to have over a 75% greater risk of developing breast cancer.[285] ”

As one Harvard School of Public health researcher noted, because of the meat content, two years on the Atkins Diet “could initiate a cancer. It could show up as a polyp in 7 years and as colon cancer in ten.

The most comprehensive report on diet and cancer in history was published in 1997. It took over four years to complete, reviewing 4500 studies from thousands of researchers across the globe. After all that work, what was their number one recommendation? “Choose a diet that is predominantly plant based, rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans with minimally processed starchy foods.”[491] In other words, essentially the opposite of the Atkins Diet. (Side note: Do they even know what the Atkins Diet is? Do they understand the promoted variety of vegetables and phyto-nutrients featured?)

In the January issue of Scientific American it was noted: “Cancer is most frequent among those branches of the human race where carnivorous habits prevail.”

In response to these studies, correlation does not equal causality. What else do these carnivorous, which is just more name calling since we are more omnivorious) also eat or do? Do they eat bread with their meat? Do they talk more on their cell phone? What is their total sugar intake in relation to vegans?

Here are the mentioned studies:
All cancers:
Back in the 1920s, Nobel laureate Otto Warburg discovered this particular metabolism, termed aerobic glycolysis, the glycolytic phenotype, or the Warburg effect.
Perspective Medicine Chemistry 2007
The Role of Glucose Metabolism and Glucose-Associated Signalling in Cancer
However, to prevent cancer-cachexia (wasting away or loss of muscle/appetite), we propose the application of a carbohydrate-restricted nutrition, which includes significant amounts of (n-3) fatty acids as well as selected plant polyphenols. Considering the observations discussed above, this strategy could represent a novel and promising approach for a diet-based intervention against aggressive cancer.

Sugar consumption is positively associated with cancer in humans and test animals (5861). This observation is quite logical because tumours are known to be enormous sugar absorbers. It has also been found that the risk of breast cancer decreases with increases in total fat intake (16).

Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients

Pérez-Guisado J. Carbohydrates, glucose metabolism and cancer. Endocrinology Nutrition. 2006;53:252255.
Since early 2007, Dr. Melanie Schmidt and biologist Ulrike Kämmerer, both at the Würzburg hospital, have been enrolling cancer patients in a clinical study of a most unexpected medication: fat. The good news is that the results were positive: the patients stayed alive, their physical condition stabilized or improved and their tumors slowed or stopped growing, or shrunk.

Brain Cancer
The calorically restricted ketogenic diet, an effective alternative therapy for malignant brain cancer. – Nutr Metab (Lond). 2007 February

Effects of a ketogenic diet on tumor metabolism and nutritional status in pediatric oncology patients
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, April 1995

Drug/diet synergy for managing malignant astrocytoma in mice
Nutrition And Metabolism May 2008

Breast Cancer
Lancet. 1996 May
Intake of macronutrients and risk of breast cancer.
Our findings suggest that the associations between carbohydrate intake or glycemic load and breast cancer risk among young adult women differ by body weight. With obesity, the more carbohydrates the greater the risk of cancer.

Gastro Intestinal Cancer
Growth of human gastric cancer cells in nude mice is delayed by a ketogenic diet

Nutrition and colorectal cancer risk: The role of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1.
Rudolf Kaaks
International Agency for Research on Cancer
Conclusions: Chronically high levels of circulating insulin and IGFs associated with a Western lifestyle may increase colorectal cancer risk



  1. My mother just got diagnosed with palvic bone and little bit cancer gone to her spine spread from her lung.

    Ive been with her at hospital for 2 weeks there going to put her on chemotherapy.

    Hopefully ill try and get her to start the atkins diet aswell.

    Its extremly hard as shes still young and wants to come home…

  2. I have tried Stevia, but have found it less desirable to cook with than the liquid sucralose (Splenda) I use in my recipes. It also does not affect my blood sugar. I do suggest people use what ever sweetener they think is best and supports their weight loss.

  3. I doubt the original premise of their study that animal fats causing cancer in the first place. The epidemiological studies (not causality) are extremely weak in their ability to prove anything. 

  4. Diebets and smoke are the number 1 cause of cancer. If you can quit the bread, pasta, rice and everything high in carbs, you will cure your diabetes. Your body is a pump. You keep fresh blood flow with excersize and entergy with low carbs, you will stay healthy as you possibly can. Live longer 🙂 

  5. I dont see how heating lox carb can cause cancer. I can understand that you have to watch your cholestrol level and it maybe alittle harsh on your heart and colon, but you have vitamins to even that out like acidolphilus for your colon and intestine health and you switch fron beef to deer to salmon to chicken. you heat straight red meat it can be harsh but cancer is viral and it mainly forms with a low immune system. What causes a low immune system? That would be diabetes. look at coment #2

  6. @akbar2k7 If you were younger (pre-puberty), I might suggest not being on a ketogenic diet as it might be difficult to get all the required nutriton for that age. However, if you are happy with the menu choices, you should be fine.

    As for athletic performance and mental acuity (both of which I have other videos), they are largely unaffected by a ketogenic diet after the acclimation period 1-2 weeks.

    If anything it has been shown to be preservative of lean body mass and muscle tissue.

  7. @MrTruthseeker135 Humans actions more barbric than animals…hehe, that is RICH. You do know that lots of animals catch and START EATING THEIR PREY WHILE IT IS STILL ALIVE, OH THE HORROR. Just try eating chicken, their brains are the size of a piece of gravel, they don't mind getting eaten.

  8. @Gary1111001 If someone else can achieve health and fitness by following vegan or vegetarian diet — raw or otherwise, they certainly don't need my blessing to do it, but I'll cheer for their weight loss success. Their success or dietary choice doesn't affect mine. Only when they attempt to restrict or criticize mine or release bad science, do I care what they believe.

    Otherwise I just wish them the best and hope they succeed in their goals.

  9. @Gary1111001 Well when I read "Cream from a machine," I got a chuckle too.

    I completely agree with emotion. People do the same thing with Atkins or low carb. They don't want to know the science or the why it works; they just are desperate for a change. It's my goal to help educate those who are curious or following a low carb diet to do it right.

    There is certainly enough science behind following a ketogenic diet, and I personally have seen the most improvement in health and fitness that way.

  10. @bowulf No rage here. In fact, you just made me laugh.
    As for emotion, people are like that with food, ya know?? Some veg*ns think their diet is un-natural. That's because they dont know the science; they went veg out of emotion.

    But my diet choices start and end with health, which is natural and scientific. That's why I'm not just vegan(16 years), I'm also raw and mostly fruigivore.

  11. @Gary1111001 I am not trying to get people to eat meat. If you don't want to eat meat, don't. In fact, I appreciate the lower demand and hence lower prices. What I do object is emotional fluff being portrayed as science.

    Why the opposition over me making a different choice?

    As for natural, I'd say eating a grilled steak is about as natural as it gets. If your rage is against the industrial food, it goes both ways. Fruits and animal products both get processed by machines.

  12. Why are you spending your time trying to get people eating meat. We're doing just fine as herbivores. Atkins isn't the only way to loose wieght. We get irritated because no-one wants to be put down and called wrong, especially when it's not wrong.

    What's more natural: an aromatic colorful fruit hanging from a tree? or Cream from a machine. Not wise to go against Mother Nature.

  13. @MrTruthseeker135 But best of luck to you, it is apparent that this conversation will not go anywhere as I refuse to argue emotionally, and you and I are not on the same page (either religiously or dietarily).

  14. @MrTruthseeker135 I am not saying you are wrong for disagreeing with me or because you don't eat meat. You are wrong because you are making emotional arguments and expecting others to feel the same.

    "i'll start killing animals because it just feels right!"

    Exactly – how it feels makes you right in your world not the one with the most intellectually coherent argument.

    The best way to lose weight is not jack your blood glucose up with sugar and stop eating junk food. Simple as that.

  15. @MrTruthseeker135 No I get it. You don't make decision after rational thought. You make decisions after what feels right.


    Please google spelling and grammar. You would make a much better impact with your argument if you cared as much about the writing as you do about the kitties.


  16. @MrTruthseeker135 Good luck to you, but it is obvious you aren't seeking the truth. You would rather live with your emotions and make decisions based upon what feels right.

    PS – here's a hint – we are superior to the animals… Whether you believe it because God put us in dominion over the animals or we progressed to be more intelligent than them or the fact we can eat them (which is about the only reason a lion needs) or the fact they're delicious, it's good and perfectly ok to eat them.

  17. @MrTruthseeker135 Ah the epitome of the know-it-all vegan… "I don't care what the science says. Do what I say because I know best." I would like to be sorry that you are hurt and sad that I eat delicious meat like the ground beef I had for supper, but why should I. You don't respect others' opinions, so why should I respect your emotional state.

    I take it you have never been around carnivorous animals in the wild if you think we are more barbaric than them. 

  18. @Catherine8raw Actually, Dana C (of Low Carb Recipe Book fame) just had a interesting article on Nitrates. It would take 497 servings of hot dogs to equal the nitrates in one serving of Arugula, and that 90-95% of a person's intake of nitrates is from one's own saliva. I haven't backed that up yet, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

    But Dr. Atkins did of course recommend nitrate free meat as well…

  19. @pedanpontif That is one of the reasons I make these videos. I hope to spread what I have learned from the experts and give one more voice to their credence. I am sorry to hear about your mom.

  20. Y'know, you should listen to insurance brokers as regards who lives a long life and who doesn't. My Aunt worked for a large life- insurance group for 30 yrs. The application form to start the policy had multiple questions. One was "Are you a vegetarian?" If the client checked the box "yes", they automatically had to pay MORE premium than if they had answered "no" because the company's own records showed that vegetarians had poorer health and died earlier. Check for yourself.

  21. @bowulf Yeah, your advice sounds really great. I probably should have been a little more clear in my post. When my strips are turning purple I feel a lot better mentally and physically. I can work harder and longer and my outlook on things is better. I just mentioned the last 10 lbs out of laziness, it is not that big of a factor.

  22. @tickyul Ketosis is a product of burning fat. If you are eating 80% fat, you are in ketosis. The level of ketones in urine is a result of hydration levels. The body also become more capable at using ketones and less eventually get released as a by product.

    My suggestions remain is to stop focusing on the last 10 pounds, and start focusing on an athletic achievement. It eliminates the frustration of something you might not be able to control into something you can work towards.

  23. Maybe someone can help me. I find that I do better in heavy ketosis, feel more energy, less hunger, better mood…etc,etc. The problem is I am having a hard time getting my strips to go above a weak or low level of ketones. The times I have felt the best was when I had the strips deep purple. I limit my carbs to less than 5gm a day, limit protein to adequate levels (20%), eat mostly fat. I am kinda stuck with the last 10 lbs (5ft7,160lb). Any suggestions are welcome.

  24. Absolutely correct. That's why anyone should be suspicious of a health professional that does not look like you want to look. Dr. Michael Eades had a post comparing Jack La Lanne to Ancel Keys (father of a lot that is currently wrong with nutrition), and I'm definitely gearing myself to be more like Jack.

  25. i have to say again i love this vid and i heard paul chek say something about these studys most of them are BS because you cant learn health from and unhealthy person we should learn health from healthy fit people instead of studying unhealthy people

  26. When it's evident like your shrinking in inches (I understand the pound frustration), it would be hard to be anything ecstatic with your progress. Keep spreading the good news!

  27. Yep, you are eating a more simple dietary life and less processed. How healthy is margarine? A product so processed with hydrogenated oils that they had to create a new brands bragging that they don't have the problems (ignoring the fact butter never did) or have names wishing they were butter.

    I'd rather eat things with ingredients I know. Make as much of the food myself as opposed to some factory worker late on his shift. Convenience ultimately breeds obesity. Thanks for watching!

  28. If they ate like we do sans the meat, being a vegetarian could be healthy, but I would say it is much more difficult to ensure one's health and all the dietary nutrients and minerals without animal products. I wish them luck with their diet, but ironically few of them wish the same of me or others like us.

    The kicker is when they say we have no variety or need the "rainbow" of colors on our plate. Last time I checked, they were the only ones to eliminate two full food groups. (dairy & meat)

  29. Have you watched any of my videos? 6 years later my 211 pounds are still off, and I could not be healthier according to my doctor or blood work. Exactly what is healthy about refined sugars, starches, and white flour? How many pizza crusts, donuts, and grams of HFCS does one need each day? Conversely what is unhealthy of a diet based meat, veggies, cheese, nuts, fruit? (especially if every single health marker and athletic performance get better dramatically)

    Keep your diet, I have mine..

  30. The easiest but most expensive and painful answer is to buy a blood glucose test kit.

    A second method would be to buy ketosis test strips, but they are often inaccurate due to only testing a single type of ketones.

    My preferred way is to simply eat by the book, and there is never any question. If all you are eating on Induction is the 3 cups per day of salad veggies or 2-1 with other veggies, you are golden.

    After Induction, you add carbs in the form of veg until you stop losing (5g/week).

  31. Atkin diet is NOT healthy. You do need a bit of fat in your diet. I'll never follow Atkin diet, because of the diet plan that is "supposedly" to work, only in the short term. In the long term, it won't help keep your weight off. The only way to lose weight is to eat healthy food and exercise and you'll keep at a healthy weight for the rest of your life.

  32. It certainly helps! The guy that sells it says that it is not absorbed by the body. I have just worked so hard and I don't want to blow it! Kent-plz, how can I monitor my glucose levels? I don't understand that part of low carbing.

  33. I appreciate the fact that lactose might be slightly lower glycemic that straight sucrose (table sugar), but its convertability is the same. I simply don't believe its reported net carb equals 1g on the package not when the nutrition label has to report 4g of sugar. Its def. not Induction friendly.

    As for causing you out of ketosis, that is more a matter of amount. I would count the full 4g against your total for the day, and expect perhaps a glucose rush. I hope this helps.

  34. I am not a big Splenda eater being limited to 3 servings a day on Atkins prevents over eating. I have been eating a bit more Truvia lately, but it still has not performed in recipe as well as Splenda. Here's my take on Whey Low, which I only know through what is reported on those that sell it:
    Nutrition Facts: Total Carbohydrate: 4g, Sugars 4g
    Whey Low Ingredients: Sucrose, Fructose, Lactose Monohydrate
    That sounds like lots of sugar. All 3 are simple sugars and easily converted to glucose.

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