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Keto/low carb sisterhood

Hey everyone! I'd love to connect with other women who are currently on a keto/low carb diet. Let's support one another with accountability, recipe exchange, research findings, tips/tricks, struggles, and mutual support.

Please introduce yourself, when and why you went keto, and share your fave keto treat.


Keto sisters











Lolis (Loli)






sunandsea (Vilija)






  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    I'll get the ball rolling... I'm Vilija (VIH- lee-yah) from Santa Cruz, CA. In 40 years, I have *never* been on a diet. Sure, I've counted macros here and there over the past few years, but mostly, I focused on eating ample protein and greens and in general, intuitively eating, by keeping tabs on my energy levels, how my clothes fit, and how foods made me feel.

    Once I learned I had breast cancer (1/31/20), I knew that I wanted to switch things up in a big way. I wanted to make my body the least hospitable host for the cancer cells, because...#fuckcancer. A metabolic biologist friend suggested the ketogenic diet and I dove in the day after I was diagnosed (nothing like cancer to kickstart your diet). It's been 80 days and while I am still learning, I am still going strong with a.modified keto diet, with 70% of calories from fat, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbs. I use a food scale, the cronometer app, and the keto mojo blood glucose and ketone monitor to stay on track.. Fave keto treats are Wholesome Yum's Fudgy Brownies (1g net carbs!)

    So far, keto has worked great for me. I definitely have fewer cravings for sweets. I wasn't hungry at all while having to fast before surgery. I feel good while working out even though I had convinced myself otherwise thinking there was no way I could move my body on so few carbs per day (I was wrong). However, chemo and radiation are on the horizon and I don't know if I'll be able to maintain this diet while dealing with the potential side effects from these therapies. Regardless, this diet has fundamentally changed my relationship with carbs and particularly sugar...and for that I am grateful.

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Hi Vilija!

    I'm sorry, this is my first post ever, so I'm hoping I do this right. :-)

    When I was diagnosed last year, the naturopathic oncology clinic near me immediately recommended that I give Keto a try. That was a huge transition, as I had been a vegan for 5 years previously!

    The first month was rough, to say the least! Then, I found Dr. Will Cole's book "Keto-tarian", which has worked out fabulously for me. He states that most vegans and vegetarians are actually "Carbatarians", which was so true with me. Like for you, this version of Keto has fundamentally changed my relationship with carbs and sugar. I seem to have an internal "carbometer" now that stops me when I am eating too much!

    I have to sign off, but I will write more later on this week. Best wishes and hugs to you!

  • Lolis
    Lolis Member Posts: 294

    Hi Vilija,

    I have been on keto since mid April of this year. I think I am on modified Keto. 70 % fat, 20% protein and 10% carbs. Lately the carbs have been ranging in the 6% and it is only when I use chia seeds that it goes over it.

    I started keto as weight loss options. My weight has gone up lately (since first diagnosis). I still miss a good plate of pasta or freshly baked bread.

    Regarding maintaining keto while undergoing chemo, I would suggest you listen to your body and eat whatever you can keep down. I was craving French fries after one treatment and mint chocolate chip ice cream after the others. If you can maintain keto go for it and if you don't be gentle on yourself and eat what feels right.

    I see you are doing Taxotere, don't forget the ice packs for hands and toes.

    Good luck with chemo and radiation.


  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    Kittymama1962 - I’m so honored to have started the thread that got you to post for the first time! Good for you! Thank you for chiming in with your story. I’ve heard of the term “ketotarian” and I’m so happy to hear that it’s working well for you. I’d love to find out more from you - particularly what recipes have served you well over the past year of transitioning to this new way of eating. Take care! PS: I’ve added your name to the original post. Welcome to the keto sisterhood!

    Lolis - Thank you so much for your reply. One month down and going strong - awesome! Your macro ratio sounds very similar to mine. The first few months were hard for me, but I’ll never know if that was the stress from surgery, waiting for tests, etc. or from radically changing my diet. I’m almost 4 months in now and I’m fully settled in to my new diet. It’s funny - I used to crave all things pasta/bread and I gotta say, that’s completely gone now. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that feeling in my life...weird, but good. I just completed my 2nd round of TC and I’ve successfully been able to stay away from carbs. I have noticed that on the days immediately following chemo, my appetite is significantly less (smell/food aversions, not exercising). But, as soon as my nausea goes away and I’m back to resistance training, it’s back to business foodwise. That’s been a big surprise to me. And thank you for the ice pack recommendation - I’ve been icing my hands, toes, and mouth during each session and so far so good. Last thing, I’ve added you to the original post - welcome to the keto sisterhood!

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    I follow the ketogenic/oncology literature and wanted to share an interesting peer-reviewed article released earlier this month of a ketogenic case series study conducted by researchers at Osaka University. Feel free to share other ketogenic-related publications of interest.

    Promising Effect of a New Ketogenic Diet Regimen in Patients with Advanced Cancer

    Hagihara et al

    A ketogenic diet is expected to be an effective support therapy for patients with cancer, but the degree and duration of carbohydrate restriction are unclear. We performed a case series study of a new ketogenic diet regimen in patients with different types of stage IV cancer. Carbohydrates were restricted to 10 g/day during week one, 20 g/day from week two for three months, and 30 g/day thereafter. A total of 55 patients participated in the study, and data from 37 patients administered the ketogenic diet for three months were analyzed. No severe adverse events associated with the diet were observed. Total ketone bodies increased significantly, and both fasting blood sugar and insulin levels were suppressed significantly for three months after completion of the study. Five patients showed a partial response on Positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) at three months. Three and seven patients showed complete and partial responses, respectively at one year. Median survival was 32.2 (maximum: 80.1) months, and the three-year survival rate was 44.5%. After three months on the ketogenic diet, the serum Alb, BS, and CRP (ABC) score could be used to stratify the patients into groups with significantly different survival rates (p < 0.001, log-rank test). Our ketogenic diet regimen is considered to be a promising support therapy for patients with different types of advanced cancer.

    Here's the full article.

  • 1redgirl
    1redgirl Member Posts: 94
    Well not sure where I fit in, but 2 yrs ago after a second bout of cancer, I decided I needed a radical life change. My diet was full of sugar and thus carbs. Made my own bread, pasta, deserts, and snacked on a lot of candy. My dad ate a lot of candy. I ate good things as well, but my sugar intake must have been extremely high. Anyway, gave up candy, pies, cakes, all pasta, soda, fruit drinks, etc. I made the best sticky buns. Miss them and all the cookies. However I honestly do not crave sweets. For me the food transition was fairly painless because how I felt was so much different. I got rid of migraines, joint aches, mood swings, and inability to sleep.

    I eat a lot nuts. I admit to that. I eat a lot of salads with salmon, chicken, and avocados. Lots of veggies, especially broccoli. Brown rice only. Still eat some cheese. Still eat bread, but mostly I make Focaccia bread with olive oil, rosemary, and parmesan cheese.

    No red meat. I glass of red wine before bed. Lots of green tea with ginger. Eggs. Instead of bacon, a ham slice.

    Since Nov, my life has been absolutely crazy as we moved across the country. Managing stress was not easy. I am just about back to a normal routine in my new house. I also fast 12 hrs daily. I also ride my bike 20-30 miles a day. At the moment, only up to about 15 miles a day as my life is filled with stuff to do in a new location. I want my routine back. I am about 70 percent there. I also went to a gym each day which has been sad to miss.

    I love to cook, so beginning to do so more each day. Grocery stores are very different than where I previously lived. It will take time to sort out ingredients.

    Hope others chime in. Nutrition is key to making environment hostile for cancer cells to grow. Building up immune system is key. Others on here know I refused all treatment except surgery. As my oncologist told me my decision is rare. Most change their minds and do chemo, radiation, hormones. Life is good. I am thankful for each day.
  • JHannahC
    JHannahC Member Posts: 1

    Hello, I've just started a keto diet a few weeks back after my diagnosis (HERS2+) I'm not sure of my ratios because they are based off of my weight but I am using chronometer set at rigorous which I manage to stick to most days. I'm trying to fat-fast on chemo days and the day before with just fats and electrolytes. Thanks for the tip about the brownie recipe, I love that site, about to make their pizza crust with goat mozzarella as I can't do cow-based dairy. Would love to swap recipes. I've been a long-time Med diet follower so all the fat is a new thing to me and it's hard o give up some of my fave veggies.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,225

    Hi, all--I started keto nearly a year ago and then transitioned to low-carb. I've lost over 60 lbs. and for the first time in decades am merely "petite" rather than a "fireplug." I feel SO much stronger, and don't get cravings. I used to eat pasta several times a week and adored risotto, polenta and artisanal breads (but unfortunately, also pastries, gourmet donuts, and ice cream). I went from size 2X (even a few 3Xs)/18-20/Chico's size 3 or even 4 to size M/8-10/Chico's size 1. Even one pair of size 7 sneakers fits me again. I wonder if I'd have ever needed knee replacements had I never been fat. My a1c went from 6.1 to 5.4. My BMI went from 36 to 26--and my primary care doctor (before he fell gravely ill with COVID) said that 10-20 lbs. of my weight is actually excess loose skin, so my true BMI is lower than that.

    I traveled internationally while on low-carb--the only difficulty was airplane food (but flight attendants would sneak me fruit, cheese & crudites from first class). I still eat restaurant meals (except now I get them delivered). I have low-carb versions of foods I used to like--high-fiber whole grain bread, shiratake noodles, keto cookies, dark chocolate, grain-free and keto cereals & even pancake mix--but the difference is that small amounts satisfy me, and I don't binge. I eat eggs (from pasture-raised chickens), whole dairy (from grass-fed cows), unsweetened almond milk (especially in cappuccinos--I'm a coffee geek), and more veggies than I ever thought I could stand. Nuts and olives are go-to snacks for me. Red meat (pastured) a couple times a week. Lots of salmon, some poultry. Berries are my only fruit--I used to hate fruit because it wasn't sweet enough for me, but now I find even oranges and tangerines too sweet. (No grapefruit, though--letrozole and the ARB I take to keep my BP normal put the kibosh on that). I am an oenophile--but my rules are: if I don't absolutely love a wine, I'm not drinking it; and when I'm done eating the food with which it's paired, I'm done drinking the wine. (I have a Coravin, so I can pour only an ounce or two without opening and spoiling--or even having to finish--the bottle. No more "we can't drink that, it's too good for everyday").

    What has helped me was making sure the things I can eat are as delicious as possible.

    People ask me whether I'm eating comfort food while staying home. Well, foods that comfort most people don't comfort me. (In fact, some--like Campbell's soups, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, sugary cereals, Cheetos--actually repulse me). I am comforted by looking and feeling good (especially at my age and in these scary times). I marvel that I really don't miss sugar & starch.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,241

    When I was doing low carb/keto, my favorite treat was the coconut oil chocolate "bomb" that I put into ice trays and kept refrigerated. Lots of recipes out there. I also found a recipe for a coconut flour "biscuit" that you could microwave and make as needed. A little dry, so may need tweaking, but as a sandwich bun or eggs with cheese sauce, perfect.

    I finally quit low carb when my A1c was coming up but my fasting was going down. Eventually, my body learned to convert things and it just stopped working. I'm not huge, but I have gained weight and the weight simply stopped coming off. I'm back to the Mediterranean diet. I need to watch portions and I am still conscious of how many carbs I consume, but I've determined that long term, this will work better for me.

    I recall there was a board for low carbers that had some great recipes. It's where I learned about the coconut flour biscuit. Not sure if they're still around and by now, there have to be quite a few sites. Search for paleo if keto doesn't bring up the stuff that suits you. Best to you all and congratulations on your successes!!

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    Welcome new keto sisters 1redgirl, JHannahC, ChiSandy, and wallycat!

    1redgirl - I found your story to be so inspiring. That's amazing that you were able to get rid of so many chronic problems. Your list of foods sounds similar to mine, although no rice or bread for me. Amazing that you are able to get those long bike rides in daily and I hear ya re: wanting your old routine back (one day soon I hope).

    JHannahC - Good for you for taking the plunge. I'm using Cronometer too! It's an impressive app. I'll DM you my email so we can add each other as friends and share recipes (if ya like). Re: fat fasting on chemo days, is that when you only consume fats? Very curious. And I hear ya re: the adjustment to a high fat diet. It's so different from what I did was definitely a new way of thinking.

    ChiSandy - Tx for chiming in. I'm considering doing the same...keto and then transitioning to low carb. Congrats on the 60lb weight loss. What an achievement! And I love a good set of before and after labs - kudos to you on that too! Your foods sound right in line with mine and I love your way of moderating your wine intake. I was surprised to read that a serving of dry red or white wine has only 2 grams net carbs. I'm looking forward to my first glass once I'm out of active treatment (abstaining for now).

    wallycat - Bring on the chocolate fat bombs! I've yet to try one. And the coconut flour biscuit sounds easy and delish. Tx for the reminder to keep tabs on your labs. Bummed to hear that your body stopped responding to the diet, but I'm glad you were on top of things.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,241

    There are as many fat bomb recipes as there are preferences...cococut-lemon, or peanut butter or chocolate or, or, just google fat-bomb and you'll have choices galore.

    The biscuit recipe:

    2T (heaping) coconut flour
    1 large egg
    good pinch of salt
    1/4tsp baking powder
    2T water + I think I added about 1T more because the flour sucked it up.

    In a microwave safe bowl about 3" diameter (pretty big!) :
    Beat the egg and salt then add the water, mix and add the flour and baking powder until well blended and most of the lumps are gone. Let sit a few seconds and add more water if needed. You want it to look like a dough, not a batter.
    Microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds until it looks dry and it's pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
    Turn it out of the bowl and slice in half to make 2 equal thickness pieces and place on a rack to cool. You need air to circulate around them so they don't get soggy.
    Use as you would a biscuit!

    (Original recipe from here: )

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310

    I did keto through chemo as well as fasting mimicking, which has a revovery period when nutrient dense carbs are encouraged. I cycled through the keto, then FMD + refeed, then keto again... all during chemo, every 21 days x 6. To amp it up a notch, my diet was also nearly vegan... low meat, dairy and eggs. Low protein. So nearly all veggies, nuts, avocado,,oil.

    Similar story to others... weight melting off, achy joints and 'pre-arthritis' gone. I am nearly 59 and I now hike up a mountain easily, no pain during or after.

    Since Chemo, I have transitioned to what I feel is healthier and more sustainable (for me) diet. I eat more nutrient dense carbs but have remained low protein, nearly vegan. I think my fat may be a little low, but I do avocado, nuts, oils, and some cheese or fish, intermittent fast from about 9:30 pm to about 12:30 pm the next day (easy window for me). I feel good and weight is not coming back on, even with some COVID bread baking and such. My inflammation is very low. Supplement help too like curcumin, fish oil and other vegetarian antioxidants.

    I saw an integrative MO who told me about the importance of not being a growth medium for cancer. and radically changed my diet. I feel fantastic... much better than pre cancer!

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Hi Vilija!

    I'm so glad that I can be of help! Going low-carb has helped me in so many ways. I've realized that the aches and pains I suffered before were as a result of grains, especially wheat. My blood sugar is much more stable now, too. I'll have my "year-after" scans this week - hopefully, those will come back all clear!

    This recipe is the one that got me to stop missing regular bread:

    Almond Flour-Psyllium Rolls

    2 cups finely ground almond flour (I often sub one tablespoon of ground flaxseed for the same amount of flour)

    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder

    1 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp salt

    1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 1/3 cups of water to boiling. While you're doing that, mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the water, and stir like crazy! (It will look like too much water at first, but it will be absorbed within a minute or two). Add in the apple cider vinegar and stir thoroughly. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Form 8 or 9 balls of dough and put on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper on the sheet). Bake for one hour. Let sit at least ten minutes before tearing into them - LOL! The first time I made them, I was so bread-deprived...they smell so good!!!

    Variations: My husband likes me to add a bit of garlic or onion powder for more flavor, or you can sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top before baking.

    Will post more soon!

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Okay! I finally figured out how to post my diagnosis and treatments. Happy

    This recipe is near and dear to my heart, as it's what I chose to eat the morning of my surgery. I've been hypoglycemic for 45 years, so I was concerned about the stability of my blood sugar during surgery. That day, the procedure was scheduled for 2 pm. So, I got up at 3:30 am, prepared and ate this lovely meal, then took a Lorazepam and went back to bed until it was time to leave.

    I was delighted with how well that worked for me - when I arrived at the hospital, my blood sugar was eight points above the minimum needed. Smile

    Note on Keto-tarian: This eating plan is based on lots of veggies, fish, eggs, and nuts. Dr. Cole believes that peanuts and dairy cause inflammation, so he warns people away from them. It looks like he also recommends limiting tomatoes. However, everyone is different...through trial and error, I can tell you that good organic cheese and peanuts don't bother my system. So, I'd say that getting a food sensitivity test is a very good plan for a cancer patient/survivor.

    Dr. Will Cole's Spicy Frittata Pizza with Spinach and Olives (from "keto-tarian", printed by Penguin Random House)

    5 large eggs

    3 tbsp. plain unsweetened almond milk

    1/4 tsp. sea salt

    1/4 tsp. black pepper

    1 tbsp olive oil

    2 tsp minced garlic

    1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

    8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, washed well and spun dry

    4 oz. fresh soft vegan cheese, crumbled or sliced

    8 pitted kalamata or nicoise olives, halved

    6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

    1 - Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    2 - In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and half of the salt and pepper.

    3 - Heat the oil in a medium oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes (do not let brown). Add the spinach, and remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

    4 - Immediately pour the eggs into the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle the cheese and olives evenly over the top. Cook until the edges of the eggs are just set, about 3 minutes.

    5 - Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

  • LaVue
    LaVue Member Posts: 69

    Is there is substitute for psyllium husk powder. I don't have any on hand.

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7


    Unfortunately, I don't know of one. You can get psyllium husk powder at a health food store or order it online via Amazon. :-)

    Ground chia seeds or flax seeds are considered to be comparable "gelling" agents. However, the taste is the big thing here. There's something about the combo of the almond flour and psyllium that makes the rolls taste (to me, and several others I know) like real whole wheat rolls. I don't know what the taste would be like if you tried to sub ground chia seeds or flaxseeds.

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Hey everyone!

    I have fabulous news to share...I had my "year-after" mammer-slammer and ultrasound yesterday, and all is clear!!! Granted, I had excellent medical care, but I really feel that this eating plan made a big difference. That being said, I had the mother of all cheat days yesterday! Loopy

    This morning, though, I was happy to get back to my normal breakfast of tofu, avocado, pepita pesto, and lots of raw veggies! My heart goes out to all of you who are currently going through the first year.

  • pipers_dream
    pipers_dream Member Posts: 187

    I have an interesting tidbit to share. First of all, I’ve only ever done alternative but found myself unable to follow the diet. Of all the diets out there, I just hate keto and I love my carbs too much. And because of being unable to control my addictions, I suspect I’m not going to make it and have reached what feels like “the beginning of the end.” All week I laid around the house and then remembered how much fasting helped and decided to do keto for three days first, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t get some energy back! And that was with just the keto. I’m still not where I was, but then keto does make me feel shaky at first. Anyway, I just wanted to pop in and say that keto is a very important intervention and I wish you all luck on your cancer journey.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,241

    Pipersdream, don't beat yourself up not being able to do keto. From all I'm reading, it is a great thing, short term. Long term, the Mediterranean diet still reigns supreme. Healthy carbs do exist so be gentle on yourself.

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    santabarbarian - thank you so much for sharing what'sworked for you both during active treatment and after. I would love to explore more ketotarian/low carb options. Who do you see as your integrative MO?

    kittymama1962 - tx for sharing your almond flour psylliumrolls recipe. I've been looking to mix up my bread recipes and this looks like just the ticket. And YES to exploring more ketotarian options while remaining flexible about different foods (which may or may not be inflammatory for you). And did you say pizza? Looking forward to checking out this recipe 💯 And CONGRATS on the all clear!

    LaVue - definitely grab some psyllium husk powder next time you'reat the shop (or online). I see it come up in a lot of keto baking recipes.

    Pipers_dream - keto can be very tricky at first, but if you can get past those first bumps in the road, it can be freeing not to be carb-driven all day. I'm 140 days in and I am rarely hungry, have been able to maintain my weight (never wanted to lose any in the first place - just wanted to kick sugar), and I am surviving and even thriving during active treatment. Good luck!

    wallycat - so true that there are many different diets out there. I think it's all about finding the right foods that keep inflammation low for you.

  • LaVue
    LaVue Member Posts: 69

    I ordered yesterday. Should arrive tomorrow.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310

    I consulted Dr Keith Block in Chicago. The Block Center.

  • pipers_dream
    pipers_dream Member Posts: 187

    Don’t worry wallycat, I’m not beating myself up over not being able to stick with keto but I am a bit miffed that I’ve never been able to squash the sweets addiction. I stopped eating them almost entirely after getting my dx but sometimes I’d fall off the wagon and binge for a couple of weeks at a time and then grow horrified at myself and stop. Every time I did that, I could feel the difference in my body. Every. Single. Time. Maybe if I’d gone straight to keto or fasting the outcome might’ve been different but now I’m close to death’s door and I believe that I’d still be in good shape if I’d been able to get a handle on it.

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Sunandsea - Thank you so much!! I was able to have the first unmedicated nap of this past year right after the results came in. LOL!

    Question - does anyone else have trouble choking down cruciferous veggies? I have the gene that makes them taste terribly bitter, so I had to find ways to cook them that made them palatable for me. Yes, I've tried roasting them, but they don't taste as good the day after. What I've discovered is that sauteing a cruciferous vegetable in the tasty fat of your choice with a complementary nut, spices, and an additional veggie for color/interest makes all the difference. For example...

    Broccoli - pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil or Miyoko's vegan butter, and spinach or kale

    Cauliflower - slivered almonds, Miyoko's, garlic, baby cauliflower, spinach

    Cabbage and collard greens - peanuts, garlic, ginger, veggie oil

    Brussels sprouts - pecans, olive oil, salt

    Green beans - walnuts, olive oil, rosemary

    I have not tried bok choy yet - if anyone likes it with a particular nut (maybe cashews?), would you please let me know?

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    KittyMama - Great tips about the cruciferous veggies. I love to roast em and eat em either hot or as leftovers (cold in a salad). To add to your list, I've recently learned to massage my kale for about 3 minutes with some EVOO and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. A little crunch from some walnuts and enjoy! Really tasty and lasts for several meals. Bok choy is on my list of must trys - I'd say cashews would be a good fit. They're higher in carbs, but a few wouldn't hurt.

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    Wanted to share an article that just came out w/ results from a small clinical trial:

    Impact of a ketogenic diet intervention during radiotherapy on body composition: III—final results of the KETOCOMP study for breast cancer patients



    Obesity and low muscle mass are associated with worse outcomes of breast cancer patients. We conducted a controlled trial to study the impact of a ketogenic diet (KD) based on natural foods versus an unspecified standard diet (SD) on body composition in breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.


    Patients with non-metastasized breast cancer were allocated to either the KD (N = 32) or the SD (N = 31) during radiotherapy. Body composition was measured weekly by bioimpedance analysis. Blood parameters and quality of life were assessed before, during, and at the end of radiotherapy.


    A total of 29 KD and 30 SD patients completed the study. During radiotherapy, mean and median fasting BHB concentrations in the KD group were 0.72 and 0.49 mmol/l (range 0.06–4.9) which was significantly higher than those in the SD group (p < 2.2 × 10−16). There was a very small and insignificant increase in body weight and fat mass in the SD group, as well as a decrease of fat free mass. In contrast, patients in the KD group lost body weight and fat free and skeletal muscle mass quickly after diet onset, which for the most part was related to water losses. The KD did not cause further substantial changes in fat free or skeletal muscle mass, but was associated with a gradual decrease of 0.4 kg body weight and fat mass per week (p < 0.0001). The KD significantly decreased free T3 levels by 0.06 pg/ml/week (p = 6.3 × 10−5 ). Global quality of life remained stable in the SD group but increased in the KD group from a score of 66.7 to 75.0 (p = 0.20).

    Conclusions: In breast cancer patients undergoing curative radiotherapy, a KD based on natural foods is feasible. After initial water losses, the KD tends to reduce body weight and fat mass while preserving fat free and skeletal muscle mass.

    Trial registration: identifier: NCT02516501, registered on August 06, 2015

    Klement et al. Breast Cancer Research (2020) 22:94

  • KittyMama1962
    KittyMama1962 Member Posts: 7

    Sunandsea, thank you! That sounds like a great way to enjoy kale. Winking

  • norcals
    norcals Member Posts: 206

    Hi. I’ve been on a low carb diet (20g carb, 119g fat, 96g protein) since September of 2019. I started the diet after reading the book The Metabolic Approach to Cancer. For about 6 months, I was able to strictly stick to the macros. Reaching the fat macro is usually the toughest, so I supplement with Macadamia nuts, MCT oil and olive oil. I loosened my diet when Covid-19 hit (stress eating), but managed to stay under 50g carbs because I was used to the low carbs. I’ve been back to 20g of carbs (with a few hiccups) for the last couple of months. I plan to stick to these macros for the next 3 years and I may consider upping carbs to 50g thereafter (if I stay disease free)

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28

    Hi NorCalS! Welcome! Congrats on sticking to your diet for a year. That's a huge accomplishment. I agree, reaching the fat macros is tough, but it sounds like you've got the right idea by adding in the oils and macadamia nuts. I am so impressed that you have set a goal of sticking to your macros for the next 3 years. My goal was to make it through chemo and radiation while strictly sticking to the diet and counting macros via Cronometer (mission accomplished). I'm now working with a keto/low carb-friendly doc to slowly add back in a few more carbs all while watching my glucose and insulin levels. I can't wait to add in a few more colorful veggies - I miss 'em! I'll definitely still be "low carb," but not keto. I'm looking forward to adding a bit more variety to my everyday meals. PS - I've added you to the intro post.

  • sunandsea
    sunandsea Member Posts: 28