Budwig Diet: What Should You Eat in a Budwig Diet & What are its Health Benefits and Downsides?

What Is A Budwig Diet?

Budwig diet is a type of diet that is used as a complementary treatment for cancer. It helps support the treatment process.

Budwig diet was developed by a German researcher Dr. John Budwig in 1950.

The Budwig diet involves multiple servings of cottage cheese and flaxseed everyday along with other fruits and vegetables. One has to eliminate added sugar, refined grains, and processed foods from the diet.(1)

Flaxseeds contain healthy fat i.e. omega-3 and reduce the levels of cancer-causing chemicals. They also contain phytoestrogens and lignans that have anti-cancer properties.

The healthy fats present in both cottage cheese and flaxseed slow down the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Budwig Diet: What Should You Eat in a Budwig Diet?

What Should You Eat In A Budwig Diet?

Budwig diet involves eating a lot of polyunsaturated fats that help prevent cancer cells from spreading. The diet also lays stress on foods, vegetables, and high fiber food.

Dr. Budwig also recommended spending 20 minutes every day outdoors as it helps in increasing sun exposure and boosts vitamin D levels, help balance blood pressure, and manage cholesterol andpH of the body.

Foods to be avoided by a person following a Budwig diet are:

  • Pork
  • Sugar
  • Tea and coffee
  • Shellfish
  • Cold and processed meats
  • Butter and other dairy products
  • Refined grains and cereals
  • Margarine and other refined and hydrogenated oils

Why Follow The Budwig Diet?

Dr. Budwig has designed this diet to help with the treatment of cancer, but according to the food intake it is also claimed to help with other conditions including:

Health Benefits Of Budwig Diet

Budwig diet emphasizes consuming whole foods like fruits and vegetables all that are rich in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables is linked with lowering the risk of different types of cancer.(2, 3)

Flaxseeds are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 and may help reduce inflammation, decrease blood pressure, and protect against heart diseases.(4)

Budwig diet also eliminates processed foods including refined grains and junk food from the diet. This adds up to the health benefits.

A study found that a 10% increase in ultra-processed food intake increased overall cancer risk, specifically breast cancer.(5)

Processed meats are also associated with increasing the risk of heart diseases and certain cancers. (5)

Downsides Of Budwig Diet

One should look upon both the benefits as well as the side effect before starting with any type of diet. The downsides of the Budwig diet are as follows:

Limited Research

  • Limited research is the biggest limitation of the Budwig diet.
  • The evidence being completely anecdotal, it is hard to determine whether this eating pattern can have any effect on cancer.
  • Many aspects of this diet are linked with numerous health benefits and it might help with cancer treatment as well, but it is not a treatment for cancer.

May Lead To Nutritional Deficiencies

There are many food groups that are eliminated from the Budwig diet. This restrictive eating may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Meat is not completely banned but is limited to certain types only in Budwig diet. Meat, fish, and poultry are known to be rich in many important nutrients such as proteins, iron, and B vitamins. Restricting it may increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies.(6)

A study shows an increased risk of vegetarians and vegans to be deficient in iron, protein, and calcium.(7)

With many restrictions, the diet may also cause weight loss that can be dangerous for people with cancer. Those suffering from cancer are in a hypermetabolic state, which means their overall protein and calorie needs are increased. Lack of proper nutrition while following the Budwig diet may result in further weight loss, muscle wasting, and cachexia.(8)

It is therefore advised if following this diet makes sure you enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense foods and take supplemental nutrients.

Contains a High Amount Of Flaxseed Oil

Budwig diet involves consuming a high amount of flaxseed oil. This may cause digestive issues and diarrhea in some people.(9)

Excess of flaxseeds is discouraged for pregnant females, breastfeeding females, and those taking blood sugar medication.(10)

Flaxseeds are also known to interact with certain medications. Therefore, it is important to consult a healthcare provider when increasing their intake in the diet.(11)

Budwig diet is introduced to slow down the growth of cancer cells in the body but is not backed by much evidence.It promotes the consumption of healthy food.

If interested in starting with it, do not forget to bring it to your doctor’s notice, especially for those suffering from cancer or any other chronic health issue.