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The Ketogenic Diet
All cells, including cancer cells, are fueled by glucose. But if you deprive them of glucose, they switch to the alternate fuel, ketone bodies.
Except cancer cells. A defect prevents them from making the switch to using ketone bodies as fuel and therefore, cancer cells can only survive on glucose. All other cells can use either glucose or ketone bodies.
“Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that,” Dr. D’Agostino explained.
People like Hatfield, who want to deprive their cells of glucose and fuel them with ketone bodies instead, eat what’s known as a ketogenic diet. It consists of almost zero carbohydrates, but lots of natural proteins and fats.
Gloria said the food on the ketogenic diet is in every grocery store and is pretty easy to prepare.
“You can go online and there’s cook books,” she said, “It’s clean eating. Just very clean eating, none of the sugars, the salts, the trash food.”
“Natural” proteins are ones that are in their original form. On the other hand, “processed” meats, like cold cuts and hot dogs, are off-limits because often carbohydrates have been added to them.
Similarly, “natural” fats are whole foods, like olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Stay away from “trans” fats, such as shortening or margarine, any oil that is hydrogenated. Trans fats are man-made.
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