A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on nutrition myths. There were some myths specific to cancer, one of which read:
Myth: An-all vegetable diet helps cure cancer. There was a patient in the hospital that revealed she had followed an all-veggie diet for cancer and exclaimed, “I lost 30 pounds, and it was all muscle!” A vegetables-only diet will leave you malnourished and dissatisfied, and on no uncertain terms, will not improve a cancer diagnosis.
This drew criticism from a reader who wrote:
In what universe will a plant-based diet leave you malnourished and dissatisfied? I am shocked that you as a dietitian would think that, let alone print it in a column. Do you have any idea how many doctors espouse plant-based diets as a satisfying and nutritionally complete way of eating? I would love to see the references you used to come up with this nonsense about malnourishment and dissatisfaction in a plant-based diet.
Dear Steamed Vegan,
I apologize for not making myself clear. You are correct in that a plant-based diet can be fully nourishing and satisfying. My point is that insufficient protein in a vegetables-only diet (like the one the cancer patient had been on), would leave one malnourished.
Thank you for keeping me on my toes!
Leanne McCrate is an award-winning dietitian based in Missouri. Her mission is to educate the public on sound, evidence-based nutrition. Do you have a nutrition question? Email her at email@example.com.