Two kinds of “perfect diets” exist. The far more common, propagandized, “perfect” diet is the one-shoe-fits-all diet that bases their recommendations on a small slice of scientific evidence of one kind or another, such as the Fodmap Diet™ or a Paleolithic Diet ™. The latter uses anthropological evidence about what humans and pre-humans have been eating for the last few million years, which makes some sense. Such diets become popular based mostly on how well they are marketed and not on their validity. A far less common “perfect diet” is the one that is congruent with your personalized needs, based on your immunological, allergic, endocrine, toxicological, nutritional, metabolic and genetic uniqueness. Functional medicine focuses on identifying and treating the many unique factors which can contribute to disease or poor health.
In the last year, as we have taken on the challenge of supporting the recoveries of cancer patients, we have mined ever deeper into the science-based, personalized, “perfect diet” that could add years to our patient’s lives and life to their years. We are up against a healthcare system which has only recently begun to acknowledge, despite amassed studies for decades, that diet and lifestyle does matter in cancer recovery. Despite a thawing of the healthcare system’s assumptions about lifestyle and diet, mainstream medicine is still far from acknowledging that a unique, “perfect diet” that is congruent with each and every cancer patient’s personalized needs, is extremely important to the recovery of each and every cancer patient.
How to Personalize Your Diet
What is taking shape in attempts to personalize a “perfect” cancer recovery diet, is a discovery that such personalization is good for everyone.
Here is a brief summary of how to inexpensively personalize your diet, and the diet of those you love, to each person’s unique needs.
Step 1) Lower Your Carbohydrate Intake
Processed carbohydrate consumption to the tune of 100 to 200 pounds of average sugar yearly intake per person in the United States is crazy. Besides diabetes, ADHD, GI disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and all kinds of chronic diseases where “carboholism” may be a factor, carbohydrates/sugar are addictive substances. This advice should be personalized to your family history of diabetes, hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as your GI problems with fungal overgrowth. Fungus and cancer exist synergistically, as chemotherapy can lower white blood cell count and reduce resistance to fungal infection  so a lower carb diet may help fight fungal overgrowth. The Center for Disease Control has information on their website for cancer and fungal infections.
Step 2) Eat Organic Foods
Removing carcinogens from our diet is good for everyone, but it is especially important for those in cancer recovery or those with a strong family history of cancer and those who have tested positively for cancer genes with readily available and often insurance-covered oncogenetic testing. Also, those who tested positive on simple, inexpensive, ancestry-based, genetic testing (e.g.,www.23andme.com) for PON1 genetic variants, and who are thus less able to detoxify carcinogenic common pesticides, should especially eat organic foods.
Step 3) Ketosis & Monitoring Blood Sugar
After lowering your carb intake, depending on how important it is for your personalized situation to accomplish this – and it’s really important for most cancer recovery people to take this very seriously, as a Nobel Prize was won for the discovery that cancer cells thrive on sugar - inexpensive monitoring devices to measure blood sugar and ketone levels can be purchased. Medications and herbals can be prescribed to help lower blood glucose and induce ketosis.
Step 4) Food Allergy Elimination
Inexpensive IgG (not IgE) food allergy testing can be used to personalize your diet. In general, we do not want our immune system’s circuits tied up with fighting perfectly nutritional egg or gluten protein, when it can instead be devoted to fighting chronic infections (e.g., Lyme Disease or fungal infection) or cancer cells. Allergic foods can be spaced out or eliminated for a few months until the “leaky gut” in the intestines is healed. Vegetarian and animal-based or pancreatic digestive enzymes may help reduce symptoms of food allergies or food sensitivities.
Step 5) Alkalization
Assuming that acidifying carbohydrates have been removed from your diet, based on your unique metabolic and genetic needs, your low-carbohydrate diet may be too high in protein (acidifying) and too low in certain vegetables, spices, herbals, fruits, seeds and nuts that are alkalizing. Simple dipstick urine testing can spot this imbalance. I recommend purchasing a book by Dr. Susan Brown ($8) and test strips for pH ($10) to work on the transition to alkalization. If your first morning urine is consistently in the pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 (ideal for immune and metabolic functioning) then dietary changes are unnecessary as your consumption of alkalizing foods is consistent with your optimized genetic requirements. Most people, especially those who are in ketosis, will find themselves to remain stubbornly in acidosis, and will need to work on this issue. If you make an honest effort to alkalize and you are keeping sugar/carbs low and ketones high, and you can’t seem to make the transition, supplements such BiCarb Formula can help to push you over the goal line. Those in cancer recovery may find it necessary to make the transition quickly, so immediate alkalization may be needed using such alkalizing supplements.
Your “Perfect Diet” is Unique
Further personalization of your “perfect diet” can be possible, such as avoiding high lectin foods. In this reference, you will notice that some high lectin foods are acidifying and some are alkalizing. Others believe that there is enough evidence suggesting that the consumption of foods that conform to your blood type matters, so further refinements can be made here as well. A test for your blood type is inexpensive. We did not talk about fats much here, and simple testing to measure the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, as well as standard cholesterol blood testing, is available. Measuring the very important nitric oxide content in saliva can suggest further refinements in one’s diet, such as adding beets and beet powder. Genetic testing through www.23andme.com and then converting the link provided through the www.MTHFRsupport.com app can define further refinements (example noted above) in your personalized diet.
The perfect, one-shoe-fits-all diet for all human beings is a ridiculous notion. We are all genetically, metabolically, toxicologically, immunologically, nutritionally and hormonally unique. There is only one “perfect diet” for you and it is probably not the perfect diet for any of the other 6 or 7 billion humans on the planet. Your “perfect diet” can be determined by simple testing, most of which is available to you online.
As the father of medicine, Hippocrates suggested, “The greatest medicine of all is teaching people how not to need it,” and also, “Let food by thy medicine.” Someone also said that “One man’s food is another’s poison.” This was all true thousands of years ago and will always be true.
Charles Gant MD, PhD, is a physician, author and teacher and has practiced Integrative and Functional Medicine for over three decades. He specializes in molecular health and healing, especially as it supports growth and recovery from problems such as ADHD, addictions/nicotine dependence, chronic diseases, metabolic and immune disorders, infectious disease, and more. He is an expert in interpretation of functional medicine testing to diagnose precisely what is deficient in each patient, and then replenish those missing, essential items.
 A carbohydrate is defined molecularly, as sugars and starches, NOT as apples and potatoes!