Can The Paleo Diet Prevent Cancer?

Over the past few years, the Paleo diet has received a lot of attention. This diet revolves around the belief that human beings would be healthier and thinner if they are the same foods as hunter/gatherers of the Paleolithic era. This comparison has led to many people calling it “the caveman diet”.

The developer of the diet and other experts claim it can reduce the occurrence of diseases such as type-2 diabetes, gout and cancer. Is this cancer prevention claim true and is the Paleo diet deserving of the all the praise it is getting in the media?

An Overview of the Paleo Diet

People on this diet are allowed to consume fruits, vegetables and lean meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork and fish. Dieters may eat eggs but their intake should be limited to 6 eggs a week. Nuts and seeds are also allowed to be eaten on the Paleo diet.

The foods that cannot be eaten are grains like wheat, barley, oats and rice. Dairy products (butter, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream) are also left out of the Paleo diet. The diet also shuns starchy vegetables, fatty meats, candy, sugary drinks and foods which contain excess salt.

Foods that Promote Cancer

The cancer-promoting foods are typically foods containing high amounts of sugars, processed carbohydrates and preservatives. Deep fried foods also promote cancer.

Studies have shown that there are links between sugar consumption and various types of cancers. While sugar is unable to turn healthy cells into cancer, it is a good food source for cancerous cells. Diets high in sugar promote the growth of tumors.

Fried foods can increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. This is especially true when the foods contain trans-fats,  hydrogenated oils and acrylamide a chemical compound (found in high levels in high-temperature manufactured foods like French fries and potato chips) which exposure can trigger many cancers and also neurological damage.

Foods that fight cancer

Fruits and vegetables especially dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, contain good amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients. Many of these protect the body against toxins which cause cancer.

Healthy fats such as the fat in nuts, seeds and fatty fish enhance brain function and the absorption of nutrients. Flaxseed oil is a great source of healthy fats. Also, the substances which occur naturally in flaxseed may help with cancer prevention.


Because the Paleo diet does not allow people to eat the cancer-promoting foods described in this article, it can help prevent cancer. Also, as the Paleo diet is mostly based on the cancer fighting foods above, this is another positive point for the diet in cancer prevention. As well as lowering their risk of cancer, followers of this diet will be healthier overall. Not to mention, weight loss is a natural byproduct of giving up unhealthy processed foods.


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