Bristol Diet & Cancer Diet

The Bristol Diet, also known as the Cancer Diet, was developed by the Cancer Help Centre in Bristol as an eating plan to give to cancer patients. The emphasis of the Bristol Diet is on consuming whole foods, fruit and vegetables, raw cereals and good sources of protein, including organic fish, poultry and eggs.

The reason the Bristol Diet / Cancer Diet is prescribed to cancer patients is that evidence exists that strongly supports the idea of a diet composed of mainly vegetables, fruit, whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds protect against cancer.

How does the Bristol Diet work?

The Bristol Diet takes a sensible view of eating rather than a radical stance that encourages the 'dieter' to lose weight as quickly as possible. In fact, the Bristol Diet isn't even concerned with the idea of weight loss, but rather developing a sensible eating plan that fights of the risk of developing cancer and fighting cancer when it strikes.

As such, the Bristol Diet means avoiding foods that could boost the risk of cancer. For that reason out goes eating red meat, dairy products and other high protein foods - read the High Protein Diet and the associated risks - caffeine and carbonated soft drinks, including diet cola, coke, lemonade etc.

The reason for cutting out dairy products comes from research into breast cancer in countries that eat little or no dairy products at all. Studies into breast cancer in China found that breast cancer levels were lower than in the West and that there may be a link between this low level of breast cancer and the consumption of dairy products. The sciencists behind this study suggest that more research into possible links between low dairy diets and lower levels of breast cancer where needed.

Advantages of the Bristol Diet

The Bristol Diet includes many sensible dietary ideas, including reducing the amount of red meat consumed as well as the reduction in the intake of caffeine, added salt and sugar.

The Bristol Diet also isn't concerned with weight loss as the main goal. This frees up the dieter to eat more naturally rather than taking a radical stance on many foods. The Bristol Diet also encourages the user to eat whole foods, fruit and vegetables which means that the Bristol Diet is high in vitamins and nutrients.

Disadvantages of the Bristol Diet

Labeling the Bristol Diet as the Cancer Diet suggests that it is an eating plan that can combat the risks of developing numerous cancers, including skin cancer, breast cancer, throat cancer and a whole host of other cancerous diseases. However, diet is a very small factor in developing cancer.

Other factors, including genetics, lifestyle (smoking, drinking), exposure to sunlight and stress etc play a much bigger part in increasing the risk of developing cancer, so much so that combating these factors by simply eating les red meat and more vegetables isn't a strong enough lifestyle change.

By reducing the levels of salt and sugar consumed in the Bristol Diet  makes the diet less palatable than many other diets. At a time when a cancer patient should be encouraged to eat to build up strength, reducing the niceties of eating may not necessarily be a good idea.

Bristol Diet - The conclusion

The Bristol Diet encourages eating less red meat and more fruit and vegetables, so for this reason the Bristol Diet includes many sensible suggestions.

However, at a time when many Bristol Diet users, during the fight against cancer, need to fight depression and eat for strength, the Bristol Diet doesn't come across as a tempting eating plan at all. Changing the diet at a time when somone may feel at their most vulnerable may causes added stress if they stick totally to the prescribed diet. It also suggests that people can eat certain foods and 'heal' their disease, which is both dangerous and completely incorrect at a time when a cancer patient should be looking at the medical world for help.

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