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One diet patients frequently asked about is the Ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a dietary approach to consuming food that is very high in healthy fats, small amounts of protein, and minimal amounts of carbohydrate. The goal of the ketogenic or keto diet is to help your body reach a state of ketosis, which means the body utilizes fat as a source of energy over

using glucose or sugar for energy. Maintaining a state of ketosis can be challenging for some patients as it requires avoiding all carbohydrates and sugar. This diet is often confused with the Atkins diet or Paleo diet which are both low carbohydrate diets, but they focus on protein intake whereas the keto diet focuses on fat. A high fat diet means consuming food like coconut oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds while avoiding sugar, bread, pasta, and rice. A ketogenic diet has been used for many years for children with seizures and it has been proven helpful in weight loss, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes. There’s also research that shows that the keto diet could help patients with cancer, though it may not be recommended to all patients. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I develop individualized nutrition plans that best fit the need of the patient.

What do people eat on the Keto Diet?

  • Healthy fats and oils such as olive oil, nut oils, avocado oil, coconut oil, other cold pressed oils, avocados, butter, and ghee

  • Nuts such as macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, snapper, and halibut (check to make sure these are Ocean Wise–friendly options)

  • Meat such as beef, veal, poultry (aim to eat dark meat as it contains a larger proportion of fat to protein), pork, organ meats, lamb, and goat

  • Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, asparagus, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, cauliflower, and celery

  • Fruits such as cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries

For more information, please contact Dr. Jill Kenney, Naturopathic Physician at Park Avenue Medical Center 203.418.7657. *Please remember to consult with a healthcare professional prior to starting a new diet or supplement.

As you head out to the store this weekend, consider adding a few of these immune boosting foods to your list.

  1. GARLIC AND ONIONS: These are both part of the Allium family and have antimicrobial properties. Garlic has an affinity for the lungs that has been used for centuries to fight lung infections. I’d recommend adding garlic and onions to soups and stir-frys as an easy way to consume more garlic and onions.

  2. GREEN VEGETABLES: Broccoli, kale, spinach, and arugula are considered superfoods. These superfoods are full of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, C, and K as well as plenty of antioxidants.

  3. HERBS and SPICES: Turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon are several herbs and spices you can add to your food which are anti-inflammatory. Thyme, rosemary, and oregano contain anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. I recommend consuming them on a regular basis.

  4. CITRUS FRUIT: Lemons, limes, and oranges contain Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a key nutrient for the immune system. Supplementing with Vitamin C would also be beneficial.

  5. BONE BROTH: The gelatin in bone broth can heal your gastrointestinal health which will strengthen your immune system.


  1. Sleep. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, as a lack of sleep can weaken the immune system.

  2. Avoid sugar as much as possible. Sugar can weaken the immune system for up to 6-8 hours after eating it.

  3. Reishi, maitake, and white button mushrooms all have immune boosting properties.

  4. Probiotics, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Zinc. These have all been shown to help the immune system. There are numerous herbs that have antiviral and antimicrobial properties as well.

If you have any questions about the above information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. All the best, Jill

Cancer has been part of the human experience for thousands of years. As far back as 400 BC, the Queen of Persia had surgery to remove a lump in her breast. Thankfully, modern research has lead to life changing improvements in cancer treatment. Conventional treatments, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, have become an important part of cancer care. Importantly, science and experience have also confirmed an essential role for natural medicine in modern oncology.

For many, choosing natural therapies to safely combine with conventional treatments can be confusing. As a naturopathic physician specializing in integrative cancer care, I provide patients with evidence-based natural therapies that are safe and effective during varying stages of treatment. There is a role for naturopathic care before and after surgery, to support patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy, and during survivorship following cancer treatment.

The naturopathic approach requires treating each patient as an individual. The various therapies employed in integrative cancer care should reflect the individual patient, the cancer that is being treated, and the conventional therapies they receive. Plans often include dietary change, nutritional supplements, botanical medicine and homeopathy.

Is there a difference between Integrative and Alternative cancer care?

An “alternative” regimen means that a patient has opted to focus on natural medicines and to decline conventional care such as chemotherapy or radiation. Alternative care is an area of controversy, with several recent studies associating this approach with unfavorable outcomes. On the other hand, an “integrative” approach combines both conventional care and natural therapies in an effort to benefit from both approaches and improve outcomes. Integrative cancer care incorporates evidence-based natural therapies and often addresses areas that are missing in conventional treatments. Adding natural therapies to strengthen the immune system and to improve digestion of food and absorption of vitamins and minerals will improve the body’s ability to heal. Herbal medicine and nutritional supplementation can minimize side effects from chemotherapy, such as fatigue, stress and sleeplessness.

Individualized Care

Whether you are concerned about developing cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are undergoing treatment or are in survivorship, it is important that an individualized plan is developed.

Dr. Jill Kenney is a Naturopathic Physician Park Avenue Medical Center in Trumbull in Integrative Medicine and Support Services and has a private practice in downtown Fairfield.

Dr. Kenney works with cancer patients at varying stages of their treatment to develop individualized treatment plans.