The Anti-Cancer Diet, by Dr. David Khayat, M.D. (Hardcover, 2015)|
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Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
For the typical American on the typical "let's get sick" diet, this book is a
"must read." But it's not, despite the author's best intentions, 100% correct.
With a few adjustments, however, it becomes an ideal reference.
Dr. Khayat's writing style is highly accessible, and he makes every
effort to be clear. His honesty and integrity are also important to him, and
this shows in his writing.
Dr. Khayat brings a mix of sound nutritional advice and poor nutritional
advice, in this book. For example, he is adamant about drinking a particular
fruit juice. Ask an endocrinologist about that; these experts on what
happens when you rapidly ingest sugar in liquid form won't even debate any
alleged health benefits from fruit juice. They say don't touch the stuff, no
matter what it might hold in health benefits because those will cost you in
other, serious health deficits.
I'm not a doctor of any sort, but I haven't been sick since 1971 despite
having an immune disorder from birth (cured in my 50s, after my own research
and blood tests confirm this). The difference is that at a very early age I
took "you are what you eat" very seriously. That has really paid off.
He also advocates drinking cow's milk (except for men over 50). He is
apparently unaware that the factory farmed cows who produce this milk all
have mastitis. They are given antibiotics for this, which you drink in the
milk along with the pus their infected mammaries pass into the milk. There
are many reasons to not drink milk (other than organic milk). In his
defense, things are done differently in France where his nutritionist
Among his sound nutritional advice Dr. Khayat is very big on turmeric,
which does to cancer cells what Obama does to the economy. He even mentioned
combining it with pepper, something that multiplies (not merely adds) the
cancer-killing effects of both spices. He did not mention that not only can
you add ground turmeric to foods (which I do), but you can also consume
turmeric capsules (which I do). He did mention to add it to "everything,"
which is good advice because if you're eating six meals a day you can intake
turmeric six times (if you're eating only three meals a day, you need to
assess your eating habits).
Generally where he's right is in his advocacy of eating many different
fruits and vegetables and taking care how you prepare your foods. Generally
where he's wrong is his misunderstanding of the frankengrains and their
pernicious effects on health in general. If you combine this book with an
authoritative book (or documentary) on the poisons we call "wheat" (it's not
really wheat) and "corn" today, plus avoid fruit juices, you'll greatly
reduce your cancer risk. Far, far more than he claims is possible.
And that brings me to another point. He gives great advice, except as
noted. But he goes on, late in the book, to minimize the cancer-fighting
effects of a sensible diet. He says a 50% reduction in cancer risk from food
choices alone is absurd. He's wrong about that.
Here's why. About the only thing within your control is what you put into
your mouth. You can not only reduce your self-inflicted risks to zero by
eliminating toxic "food" from your diet, you can use real food to reduce
risks that come from other sources.
If you look at the threshold a given cocktails of risks must add up to
for the total risk to become serious, it's well above zero. We can all agree
on that. The exact number varies by individual.
It depends upon your genetics, what's in your air and water, how you
handle stress, what you wash your clothes in, and many other variables. It's
the risk above this threshold that matters. If your threshold is 80% and
diet accounts for 30% of risk, guess what? You can reduce your cancer risk
to zero. It will remain zero until your threshold changes or some other risk
factor increases so much your diet accounts for less than 20% (or some
combination of the two).
For example, if Tyson Foods buried chicken poop in a ditch behind the
elementary school where your kid goes (this actually happened), all kids
going to that school will have a huge increase in one particular risk factor
(arsenic from chicken poop) and this risk factor will put many of them over
their threshold no matter what they do. That's why cancers among kids going
to that school were orders of magnitude more frequent than in a normal
We know there's a threshold, because in a given population in a given
location most risk factors are identical. Some people get cancer, some
don't. Only genetics and personal choices (in food, household cleaners,
fabrics worn, etc.) can account for the difference. The people who don't get
cancer might all have superior genetics to those who don't, but that is
truly stretching things to say that's the reason. Personal choices must be
at play, and common sense tells us that food is the most important of these
choices (you are made of the food you eat).
Also, go to the grocery store and try this experiment. First, understand
that how a body looks on the outside tells you a great deal about how well
it's working on the inside. We gage this all the time; the ability to gage
this is wired into our genes.
Step 1. Look for fat people (it won't be hard to find them). Then
look in their shopping carts. You will invariably find most of what they
are buying is a processed wheat product and you are unlikely to see any
vegetables other than iceberg lettuce. They'll have sodas and nearly
everything they buy comes in a can (Dr. Khayat also gives canned
vegetables kudos, which is wrong unless you don't mind eating lead and
aluminum), bottle, box, or other container. Common health advice is
"read the label" but if it comes in something with a label on it, that's
your first clue it's probably unsafe to eat.
Step 2. OK, now that you see how fat people eat, look for people with
beautiful bodies and nice skin. The woman whose figure does Spandex
proud or the guy whose chest is 14 inches bigger around than his waist.
What is in their carts? Almost NOTHING that you find in the fat people
carts. What you see in their carts came mostly from the produce aisle.
And they have traditional oats instead of instant oats, no sodas, no
snack cakes, etc.
Step 3. Go visit the produce aisle, and look at the people shopping
there. Then go look at the people shopping in the snack aisle where the
chips and soda are. This also speaks volumes on the "does food matter
very much" non-question. It does matter. You are what you eat.
Dr. Khayat is highly credentialed. After having been suitably impressed
by his Preface, I had higher hopes for this book. I think he needs to revise
it, after carefully re-reading his own statement in the Introduction: "The
truth is that our eating habits, in the broadest sense, are in fact
responsible for many of the cancers we get!"
Exactly. And he should have hammered this point repeatedly instead of
telling us at the end it hardly matters. Perhaps he "dialed down"
expectations in response to the idiots and psychopaths who peddle hope with
crazy diets, worthless (or even harmful) supplements (there are good
supplements, too), and "treatments" that have no effect or that amount to
He's correct that eating sensibly does not provide iron-clad protection;
something can always enter the picture to change the normal equation such
that your food can't balance it anymore. But to say that eating sensibly is
going to give you only a little protection is grossly mistaken.
In a sense, his conclusion is correct because of the fact that (as he
pointed out) cancers take a long time to grow from one single defective cell
into a dangerous tumor. So if you have been eating from the snack and soda
aisle for twenty years and then suddenly decide to eat sensibly you aren't
going to be at 100% risk reduction in terms of getting a tumor. You've done
the "cancer cell growing" thing for many years. It will take many more years
before the results of that fade into nothing. But that is no reason not to
start today. In fact, it makes starting today even more urgent.
Here is my suggestion for what to do with this book. First, buy and read
the book. But remember that fruit juice is out, along with wheat products.
Next, go through your pantry and refrigerator and toss out anything that's
processed. Don't give it away to the poor; it's poison, so toss it. Chips,
soda, beer, pizza, any "instant" foods, anything that's processed. If you
have nothing left after this, that means you've been growing cancer cells
and ingesting toxins that affect you in other ways than cancer risk.
Next, go to the grocery store and shop only in the produce aisle. After
you get what you want, pick up whole grain rice and some dry beans (for the
protein you'll need). Also buy several dozen eggs (Dr. Khayat
recommends eggs, and he is quite right to do so). Buy any spices you want,
making sure to buy plenty of turmeric. Eat only these foods for several
months; for beverages, only green tea, coffee, or water. After you've given
your body a few months of this, then re-read this book and see what foods
you want to add into your diet. Given what's available on this "strict"
regimen, you might not want to add anything. But this book is a great guide
if you do (just no fruit juices or frankengrains).
The bottom line is you need to control and reduce as many risk factors as
you can. It is possible to make "all good" food choices; I know, because I
have been doing that for decades. It's not hard at all.
Making good food choices will just about eliminate your chances of
getting any disease, including cancer. Doing that also has a very positive
effect on your appearance. And there is also something to be said for
enjoying the thousands of fantastic flavors in real food rather than
limiting yourself to the two dominant flavors in the typical American diet:
processed grain (sugars) and rancid fats.
The text runs 193 pages. There's a useful appendix that lists foods with
their anti-cancer benefits or risks, followed by a glossary and a list of
abbreviations. This book is well-researched; in addition to the subject
matter experts who contributed, it has 29 pages of notes. These are followed
by an extensive index. The index is followed by a 21-page resource called
"Your Anti-Cancer Checklist."