Keto avocados and eggs(l), Woman talking(c), Supplements(r)

tilialucida/Shutterstock @oncology.nutrition.rd/Tiktok New Africa/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘I would never go keto’: Cancer dietitian shares the 10 things she would never do or eat

‘This is gonna be your pepperoni, your sausage, your deli meat, your bacon, your pre-cooked meats.’

 

Vladimir Supica

Trending

TikTok user Nichole Andrews (@oncology.nutrition.rd), an oncology dietitian, frequently shares informative videos discussing dietary choices that help prevent cancer.

In a viral video posted on March 27, Andrews shares her 2024 edition of “10 things I would never buy or do as a cancer dietitian.” It’s amassed over 5.1 million views.

Below, we break down her expert advice.

Green powders

green powder and smoothie
BonnieBC/Shutterstock

Andrews’ first piece of advice is clear: Skip the green powders. “I would never buy those green powders and try to consider them as fruits and veggies. The fiber is stripped away. There’s no liquids in there. Sometimes they’re fortified with weird herbals that could damage your liver.”

“Just eat fruits and veggies, skip those green powders,” Andrews concludes.

These dietary supplements have recently been gaining popularity, in no small part, thanks to TikTok and Instagram clips promoting them. They’re often advertised as a quick and easy way to get your missing nutrients and vitamins, but are they really worth it?

According to WebMD, while green powders can be healthy when used in moderation, they’re in no way a replacement for whole foods. WebMD further states, “Lab tests have found that some greens powders contain lead and other heavy metals. In high amounts, these contaminants can lower energy levels and cause organ damage.”

Fruits and vegetables

Produce in grocery store
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Speaking of fruits and vegetables, Andrews advises against obsessing over the “organic” label. “Organic is really just marketing. The nutritional difference is not any different from organic to conventional,” she says, adding, “Organics use pesticides, too.”

With that being said, other sources, like Mayo Clinic and Healthline point toward studies that conclude organic food has “more nutrients,” as well as other studies with conflicting or inconclusive results.

Keto or low-carb diets

Breakfast
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Andrews is also firm on steering clear of keto and low-carb diets. “I would never go keto or try to go on a low carb diet. Our bodies are built to have 50% of our calorie intakes come from carbs because that’s our body’s preferred energy source. Also, it’s your brain’s preferred energy source,” she says.

Keto diets work by significantly reducing carbohydrate intake to trigger ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body shifts from burning glucose for energy to burning stored fat. While it has proven effective for weight loss, it is not without its risks. Potential risks include increased LDL cholesterol levels, nutrient deficiencies, liver and kidney problems, constipation, and cognitive issues.

Supplements

Supplements
New Africa/Shutterstock

Supplements are another no-go for Andrews unless prescribed by a doctor. “Supplements increase risk of cancer because high-dose supplements over 200% daily value act as free radicals. Free radicals are things that damage your cell DNA,” she says.

This in turn, Nicole says, leads to a higher risk of cancer.

“The first step of cancer is a damaged cell that cannot be repaired.”

“I don’t take any supplements unless my doctor is prescribing it. And then we’re watching to make sure it improves and then I’m graduating off that supplement,” she says in the video.

Alcohol

Alchol in glass
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

According to the CDC website, “Some past studies had suggested that moderate drinking might be good for your health. But scientists highly debate these findings. More studies now show that there aren’t health benefits of moderate drinking compared to not drinking.”

Andrews’ stance on alcohol is straightforward. “I do not drink alcohol ever. No type of alcohol. None. Alcohol increases risk of six cancers at any consumption. No alcohol,” she declares in her video.

Processed meats

Processed meats
Framarzo/Shutterstock

Processed meats are another item on Andrews’ avoid list. “I do not make my sandwiches with processed meats. I bake chicken ahead of time, and I slice that up and use that for my sandwiches or my wraps.”

Her reasoning? “Processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This is gonna be your pepperoni, your sausage, your deli meat, your bacon, your pre-cooked meats. Take those out.”

Instead, she advises viewers to go for “fresh meats,” or veggie alternatives. 

Exercise

woman at desk
Framarzo/Shutterstock

Exercising is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing. However, Andrews emphasizes that it’s not enough on its own. “It is important to exercise 150 minutes a week to reduce the risk of cancer. But guess what? You also need to be moving. Sitting less and moving more is also reducing your risk of cancer.”

She adds, “It is so amazing if you go and exercise. but if you just exercise, and then you go sit the rest of the day, all those other hours sitting [are] going to increase your risk of cancer so not only do I exercise, but I also make sure to move my body.”

Some benefits of staying active throughout the day include improved cardiovascular health, enhanced mental clarity and mood, increased energy levels, and better sleep quality.

In the remainder of her video, Andrews touches on the importance of getting “at least seven hours of sleep” for hormone balance and cell recovery, warns viewers not to skip breakfast, and tackles the misconception that “high-protein” labels equate to healthy choices.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Nichole Andrews via email for comment.

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