Cancer survivors’ diets tend to be healthier

Cancer survivors’ diets tend to be healthier

Cancer survivors tend to have healthier diets than the average person but most over-estimate the quality and health benefits and erroneously think they eat a much healthier diet than they do in reality.

In the research study (1) published in June 2020 in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. the researchers from George Mason University looked at 2,361 cancer patients and 23,114 people who had never been diagnosed with cancer, and their respective self-recorded diets between 2005 to 2014 from.

The information as gathered from the annual National Health and Nutrition Survey in the USA. The results then compared the claimed diet (assigning it a score) against the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The results showed that

  • 56% of people with cancer had diets that fell short of the USDA’s ideal.
  • Despite all the research information available, cancer patients diets were generally poor and had not improved in the past 10 years.
  • Importantly, cancer survivors diets were healthier than those without cancer.

A spokesperson for said, “If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, we know that a healthy diet — along with exercise — can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, which can help keep the risk of cancer recurrence as low as it can be. Eating a healthy diet can give you more energy and improve your quality of life. Eating well also can help you rebuild muscle strength and overcome treatment side effects, such as anaemia or fatigue”

Chris Woollams, a founder of CANCERactive and a former Oxford University Biochemist added, “There’s a catch in the methodology of the research – it assumes the USDA general guidelines on diet are actually appropriate for cancer patients. So while the guidelines tell you to limit sugar, saturated fat and sodium, and to eat nutrient dense foods like grains, vegetables and fruit, it also tells you to choose these nutrient dense foods and beverages across all food groups (dairy? alcohol? sugar? red meat?) suggesting you merely have a reduced intake of empty calories from food and beverage. It is possible people with cancer simply don’t adhere to this ‘Ideal diet’ because they don’t agree with it. I wouldn't. That's why we have extensive research on the colourful Mediterranean Diet - which was even voted 'the Healthiest Diet in the World', and, 'the best plant-based diet' by medical Professors, health experts and nutritionists”

Go to: The colourful Mediterranean Diet – probably the healthiest diet in the world


  1. Discrepancy between perceived diet quality and actual diet quality in breast cancer; Hong Xue et al:


  Approved by the Medical Board. Click Here 


2020 Research
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