It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

As a cancer survivor, can I follow the same diet as my diabetic husband?

My husband is diabetic, and I am a cancer survivor. With the guidelines given to me to minimize recurring of the cancer, as well as my health in general after chemo, it seems easier for me to follow a diabetic diet than it would be to try and fix 2 different meals twice a day. Would I be starving my cells and ultimately doing more harm than good if I were to follow his diet?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Halibut with grape tomatoes, capers, and garlic

You would be doing yourself a great service to follow a diabetic diet.

We now know that the most effective diet for diabetics is a Mediterranean style diet. There's information about this in our Diabetes Diet section.

At the same time the Mediterranean diet has been shown to help lower the risk of cancer. We have good research to show this now. One consideration is that your husband should check with his physician to discuss this. For many diabetics we help them manage their intake by following the amount of carbohydrates they consume.

Here are articles with more information about diet and cancer:

Mediterranean Diet and Breast Cancer Risk
Mediterranean Diet and Stomach Cancers
Fruits, Vegetables, and Colorectal Cancer
Eat Healthy to Avoid Skin Cancer

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet