Anticancer Diet Protocol

We hear so much about keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, no fruit, all fruit, soy-rich, no soy, etc. What you need to know is that there is no one anticancer diet that works for everyone, period. There is no one perfect food or diet that will prevent or cure cancer. It is the overall pattern of one’s diet and lifestyle that is important. Discovering which ‘diet’ is right for you may take some time and certainly a level of commitment, but it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be yet another source of stress in your life.

Some people, likely some that you know, swear by their choice of diet and it seems to be working well for them. But then you try it, and you feel terrible and your lab work becomes concerning. Importantly, the body is an interconnected ecosystem, not a set of detached organs that do not speak to each other. When you nourish one part of the system but neglect another, things do not always go well. The goal then, is to find the unique diet that works for you and all the systems in your body.

The best diet in general may well be a mostly plant-based one that is rich in vegetables and includes fruits, healthy fats, is low in carbs, and which might include some lean proteins such as wild-caught fish and meat. Importantly, the best diet for you is the one that you enjoy. Deprivation can lead to depression, which isn’t good for anyone. Call yourself a selectitarian, flexitarian, or whatever allows you to eat healthy with joy.

The much-promoted keto diet can be extreme, and may not be necessary for everyone, but a lower carb diet can contribute to significant improvements in physiological health. Low carb diets have repeatedly been found to lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, improve inflammatory markers and energy levels, reduce weight, and improve sleep.

Arguably, a plant-based keto-type diet would likely be better for both the planet and people than a high meat and dairy diet. However, for some there is a legitimate argument for adding some meat and dairy and/or fish into the diet. Importantly, while some may need to avoid grains and legumes, others very much need to have healthy carbs, something missing in the keto diet. It is and should be a personal decision based on your needs.

To be clear, while the vegan and vegetarian diets do work well for many and are the best for the planet, for many they do not offer enough usable protein and are too high in carbs (especially as we age). It is certainly possible to be a vegan or vegetarian and still eat a low-carbohydrate, high-fat keto-type diet, getting protein and fat from foods such as tempeh, tofu, avocado, nuts and seeds, and for less carb-restrictive, legumes. However, some will find that by avoiding animal fats they lack the type of protein or other nutrients they need for maintaining muscle mass, healthy blood, and proper thyroid function.

On the topic of thyroid health, many people find that grains, legumes, and soy –which are often an integral part of a vegan diet–may be problematic if you are hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, or have Graves or Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Completely raw diets can be challenging as well, particularly for those in cold climates, but it is also often difficult to get enough protein unless you like raw meat.

In Defense of Animal Fats:

Grass-fed bison, for example, is low in fat and high in protein and iron. it also contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), which help boost the immune system and lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Bison are also more eco-friendly as prairie grasses have evolved along with the animals. As the bison graze and move across the pasture, their hooves stir the soil, which helps plant grass seeds. Grass-fed beef has many of the same health benefits. Some research shows that pastured animals might help reverse the greenhouse effect as properly managed pastures store carbon, instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. Keep in mind too that some of the studies against animal fats were done using conventional products, tainted with growth hormones, antibiotics, and grain-fed as opposed to those from pastured animals.

Butter and ghee from grass-fed cows are rich in vitamin k2, which helps build healthy bones and prevent calcification of the arteries. K2 also exerts anticancer effects on a number of cancer cell lines and is increasing being studied as a prospective treatment of cancer. It has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cell, promote cancer cell death, and modulate estrogen function. Of course, you can get these nutrients in supplement form if animal products do not appeal to you. Supplements: K2 and CLA.

A Note About Gluten:

Eating a diet rich in gluten and grains can promote a cancerous terrain. Wheat causes chronic gut inflammation. The resulting inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxin exposure, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain are the key driving forces. Notably, hormones help regulate cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and cell death. Compounds in gluten can do direct damage to every tissue in the body. The effects of gluten can last for just a few days or even up to 6 months. Eliminating gluten can help clear leaky gut and the resulting stimulation of inflammatory responses in the body.

Here are Some highlights of the Anticancer Diet Tips I give to my clients:

  • Consume a mostly plant-based diet rich in fresh and dried herbs, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.), organic berries, nuts and seeds, onions (including red, shallots and others in the allium family), garlic, and turmeric, which are all super anticancer agents.  
  • Concentrate on eating a variety of foods. Eat the rainbow and thus incorporate as many different fruits and vegetables of all colors into your diet.
  • Include or avoid legumes as best fits your personal needs.
  • If you eat meat or dairy, be sure it is from a trust-worthy source and completely pastured.
  • If you eat fish or shellfish, wild is best. Avoid tuna, tile fish, king fish, halibut, tilapia, swordfish, and other toxic seafood.
  • If you eat dairy, look for grass fed/pastured and possibly raw versions. Butter and ghee are excellent options.
  • Use healthy oils such as olive, coconut, Malaysian palm oil, and sesame (often overlooked but unlike flaxseed oil, loaded with anticancer lignans) instead of corn and other unhealthy oils.
  • Drink pure filtered water.
  • eat pre-biotic-rich foods such as artichokes, carrots, garlic, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, radishes and tomatoes to support your microbiome.
  • Gluten is not your friend; chose healthy gluten free options instead.
  • Avoid peanut and corn products as they contain aflatoxins.
  • Avoid ‘anti-foods’ such as soda, fruit juices (other than pure pomegranate juice) artificial coloring and flavoring, processed foods, cakes, cookies, candy bars, margarine (and other butter substitutes),
  • Avoid BPA lined canned goods and beware of “BPA Free” containers as they often contain toxic BPS (better yet choose jarred when available).
  • Avoid preservatives, and sugar (maple syrup, raw local honey, and often stevia can be used in moderation).
  • Supplement as appropriate to support the body in optimal health, target cancer cells and inhibit the growth of cancer.
  • Intermittent fasting can be helpful as it has been widely studied for its role in cancer prevention and management



This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo medical advice and treatment. This post is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This page and website do not represent medical advice nor should they be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice. I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist. The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence. If you’d like more guidance, I’d love to work with you! For more information, please visit my “Contact Us” page.

Some product links on some posts are affiliate links. This website is monetized in part using affiliate links. This means that if you were to click on a link that is an affiliate link and purchase an item after clicking on that link, I may receive a small percentage of the sales price. I only recommend products that I love and use often. Thank you for your support!

  1. I anxiously waiting for this! Thank you so much Elyn!

  2. I don’t handle the anti estrogen drugs well like Arimidex and Exestamine.

    I don’t want to take these drugs or Tamoxifen.

    Do you have a book I can use as a tool to improve my ability to do this more holistically?

  3. Hi Theresa, I don’t have a book at this point, but I have written a lot on the subject. Just go to the bottom of any of my pages and you will see a listing of current and favorite posts. Also, you can order my handouts on Estrogen and Detoxification is you wish. https://elynjacobs.com/contact-elyn/

  4. Exceptional balanced points of View and remarkably dozed! Congratulations and NEVER stop helping people!

  5. Thank you for this list! What is the best water to drink? We buy crystal springs water cooler water. Is this ok? I look forward to working with you. I have submitted a request for a consultation.

    • I like Mountain Valley Spring water, seems to be the best and is in glass bottles. I cannot speak for Crystal Springs. You could install a home filter. Many people like the Berkey system. Zero pitchers are good too, better than similar products. We look forward to working with you.

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