Myths & Misconceptions: Diet, Nutrition & Advanced Breast Cancer
Welcome to Part One of our series on diet, nutrition and advanced breast cancer. In this series, we sat down with one of our advocates, Julie Lanford MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, who is the Wellness Director for Cancer Services, a non-profit in Winston-Salem, NC. She is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition with over 10 years of experience working in oncology. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding diet, nutrition and breast cancer. Julie shares her thoughts on some of the most common ones.
Myth: Sugar feeds cancer.
Fact: All cells in the body require glucose for fuel, including cancer cells.
Use a common-sense approach. Healthy cells need energy, especially during treatment. Avoiding sugar completely will not help treatment, but it could leave your healthy cells low on energy. There is room for you to enjoy your favorite dessert from time to time. Find a balance. Sugar does not need to be an all or nothing thing. Healthy eating should promote overall well being. Here is the link to a supplemental reference document on this topic.
Myth: Breast cancer survivors can’t eat soy or should avoid soy.
Myth: Eat organic foods, not conventionally grown food.
Fact: There is no data showing people eating only organic have better health outcomes. Organic farming still uses pesticides. The bottom line is people need to eat fruits and vegetables. This is where we see benefits.
Myth: Meat and dairy can cause cancer.
Fact: There is no evidence that vegetarian or vegan diets are more healthy or protective than plant-based diets that include small amounts of animal foods.
Myth: Superfoods prevent cancer.
Fact: There is no such thing as a superfood. It’s a marketing tactic.
It is an oversimplification to say that one food could have that much impact on your overall well being or chance of developing cancer. What you do often is more important than one single food that you do or do not eat.
What are some common things you have heard about diet and breast cancer? Share in the comments below!
How old were you when you were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?