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Mediterranean Diet Shows Benefit For Cancer-Again!

If you or a loved one has cancer, it is imperative to incorporate an immune-supportive diet into your comprehensive treatment program. Since cancer is such a complex disease, it requires an oncologist to oversee testing and treatment. However, cancer care in North America is behind other countries in incorporating therapies that harness the healing benefits of nutrition and other therapies. If your oncologist does not support evidence-based clinical nutritional treatments, then you have a problem since optimal nutrition is critical for people with cancer.

Science Supports Mediterranean

For example, a recent study in JAMA Oncology demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet (whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, legumes, vegetables, olive oil) was associated with a higher probability of response by patients with advanced melanoma who were taking immunotherapy (immune checkpoint blockade). In other words, conventional cancer treatment is improved with specified nutrition with the Mediterranean Diet.

Outside The Box Nutrition

In our book Outside The Box Cancer Therapies (Hay House), Dr. Anderson and I report on a study of over 380,000 people from the United States, which found the Mediterranean diet decreased cancer mortality in men by 17 percent and in women by 12 percent after five years of follow up. Other studies have demonstrated the anticancer properties of the Mediterranean diet for colorectal, breast, liver,  stomach, prostate, and esophageal cancers.

Cancer Diet Essentials

Additional recommendations from our highly researched book for cancer prevention include:

  • Eat organic as much as possible
  • Drink purified water
  • Eat foods rich in fiber (plant foods)
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats (cold-water fish, some plant foods)
  • Eat foods in their natural state
  • Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as soybean, corn, and cottonseed
  • Consume healthy oils, such as olive and coconut
  • Minimize dairy
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and food preservatives
  • Avoid deep-fried, grilled, or barbecued meats
  • Avoid trans fats found in processed snack foods and fast foods
  • Avoid excess salt (can use salt substitutes, such as those made with potassium chloride)
  • Avoid soft drinks, excess fruit juice, and high fructose corn syrup
  • Drink herbal teas, such as organic green tea
  • Avoid rancid oils and excess polyunsaturated fats
  • Use spices with your meals
  • Minimize sugar and simple carbohydrate intake
  • Avoid foods known to be contaminated with mycotoxins, such as peanuts

Dr. Mark Stengler NMD, MS, is a bestselling author in private practice in Encinitas, California, at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. His newsletter, Dr. Stengler’s Health Breakthroughs, is available at and his product line at


Bolte, L. A., Lee, K. A., Björk, J. R., Leeming, E. R., Campmans-Kuijpers, M. J. E., de Haan, J. J., Vila, A. V., Maltez-Thomas, A., Segata, N., Board, R., Harries, M., Lorigan, P., de Vries, E. G. E., Nathan, P., Fehrmann, R., Bataille, V., Spector, T. D., Hospers, G. A. P., & Weersma, R. K. (2023). Association of a Mediterranean Diet With Outcomes for Patients Treated With Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Advanced Melanoma. JAMA oncology, 9(5), 705–709.