Low-carb diets like the Paleo and ketogenic diets have been shown to enhance performance for endurance athletes and prevent colon cancer.
Fitness experts say the Paleo diet’s emphasis on whole foods and healthy fats and its avoidance of refined sugars and processed foods make it ideal for athletes.
Ultrarunner Timothy Olson told Runner’s World he experienced improved recovery and better performance after adopting the Paleo diet. Olson set a new course record at the Western States 100-mile endurance run in 2012, a few months after going Paleo.
Research indicates the Paleo diet accelerates weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and prevents cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even Alzheimer’s.
“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said Professor Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes.
Low-Carb Paleo and Ketogenic Diets Enhance Fat Oxidation
Joe Friel, a U.S. Olympic triathlon coach, said the Paleo diet works for triathletes because it helps with recovery.
“[Paleo offers] better long-term recovery due to greater micronutrient content, allowing the athlete to train with a greater stress load,” said Friel, author of the Triathlete’s Training Bible.
Dr. Jay Lehr, a 78-year-old triathlete, recently revealed he has followed a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic-style diet his entire life and credits it for his excellent health.
Jay, who recently completed his 13th triathlon, has thrived on a diet of red meat, saturated fat, dairy, eggs, butter, and lard and has never felt better.
“I’ve never been inside a regular doctor’s office,” said Lehr. “I have lived my entire life on high fat — dairy, eggs, butter and lards.”
Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet Fights Cancer
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Toronto say a low-carb diet can reduce the risk of colon cancer by up to 75 percent.
Martin and his team at the University of Toronto conducted studies on mice and identified a gut bacteria that fuels cancer growth by converting carbs into cancer-spurring metabolites. Following a low-carb diet dramatically reduced the spread of cancer, said Martin, who published his findings in the medical journal Cell.
The latest study from UT confirms other findings by cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried of Boston College. Seyfried’s decades of research indicates cancer is a metabolic disease that can best be treated with the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
Dr. Seyfried, widely considered the godfather of the nutritional treatment of cancer, joins a growing number of researchers who say the ketogenic diet can treat most forms of cancer.
This is because nearly all the healthy cells in our body have the metabolic flexibility to use fat, glucose and ketones to survive, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and require large amounts of glucose and cannot survive on ketones.
By limiting carbohydrates (as the keto diet does) we can reduce glucose and insulin, and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth. “The ketogenic diet is a single metabolic approach to a multitude of different diseases,” said Dr. Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
So far, there are numerous anecdotal success stories. One is Joe Mancaruso, a 56-year-old Texas man, who has been battling terminal lung cancer without chemotherapy using the ketogenic diet. “I am convinced I would not be here today if I had continued with chemo,” said Mancaruso.
Similarly, Dr. Elaine Cantin discussed how she used the ketogenic diet to manage her son’s type I diabetes and her own aggressive breast cancer in her book, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet.