#332 The Fear Factor After Breast Cancer - How Headlines Leave Us More Confused and Afraid of Food

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In this episode, we’ll dive into an issue that's been causing quite a bit of unnecessary worry among us, especially as breast cancer survivors. We're constantly bombarded with alarming headlines claiming that another everyday habit or food is suddenly a health hazard. I'm here to break down those fears and offer some clarity.

While it's crucial to stay informed, it's equally important to approach these headlines with a healthy dose of skepticism. I share my own frustration over how some studies are often exaggerated by the media, creating fear around lifestyle practices that are, more often than not, perfectly healthy.

I delve into how to recognize these misleading headlines and the importance of looking beyond them. I stress the need to consider the actual data behind these studies – which, as it turns out, often isn't as conclusive as it's presented. I encourage my breast cancer community not to let these fear-mongering tactics detract from our health and wellness journey.

Together, we can navigate through the sea of information with wisdom and grace, keeping our focus on thriving, not just surviving.


Referred to in this episode:

Metabolic Health Coaching

5 brilliant graphs that teach correlation vs. causality

Intermittent fasting linked to 91% increase in risk of death from heart disease, study says

The intermittent fasting trend may pose risks to your heart

Association of 8-Hour Time-Restricted Eating with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Data

The Obesity Code

Fast Like a Girl

Delay Don’t Deny

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 Read the full transcript below:

You're listening to better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a certified life coach, and I'm a breast cancer thriver. In this podcast, I will give you the skills and the insights and the tools to move past the emotional and physical trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis. If you're looking for a way to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer, you've come to the right place. Let's get started. Hello, and welcome to episode 332. You know, I always start off by saying I'm excited to be here because I am ready for the day. I really am. This is my first day feeling back to life since I came down with COVID last week. So I didn't do a terrain Talk Tuesday terrain talk this week because I was out of it. And I think about today you know that feeling when you're really sick or reminds me when I was going through chemotherapy, and you get chemotherapy, and then you got a little buffer there before you start to feel like crap. And then you feel like crap. And then there's that day when you wake up and it's like, oh, my lifeforce is coming back into me. That's me today. So I'm here. I've got a great episode, I've got an exciting new announcement, and I'm on fire about this topic we're going to talk about today, too. So first of all, let me tell you, I'm very, very, very, very excited to announce that I have some new metabolic health coaching packages available. These are very comprehensive packages. And they include genetic reports, lab reports, your terrain 10, your lifestyle intake, they include multiple coaching sessions. And when you are in and doing that package with me, you also get access for the time that we're working together to the full library of everything that I offer, in the better than before breast cancer a membership. They're so valuable. And the reason why I'm so excited about it is because of just what a huge difference and what an impact following the metabolic approach to health has had on my life. And because of the frustration when I think back on how much I struggled to figure things out, and how much frustration I had, because I couldn't figure out what is wrong. Why do I feel terrible? Why can I lose weight? Why isn't this working after my first diagnosis, compared to now understanding that if I have these pieces of information, and I know how to interpret them, and I know how to put them together, I don't have to guess anymore. And I get excited about that. Because I get excited for me and I get excited for you. Because it literally is a game changer. You don't have to waste money on things you don't think are going to be working for you. And you know, people say, Well, you know, that's expensive. And getting these tests is expensive. And yeah, it's a financial investment. But think about the monies throw away on guessing and trying other things that don't serve you when you can have a pathway to understanding your biological blueprint, what that means, and what lifestyle practices impact that in the most beneficial way for you. I'm super excited about it. I love doing this work with my clients. I love seeing them get educated on themselves, because this is about empowerment. This isn't about me needing to give you steps for the rest of your life. This is about helping you understand exactly what you need, and how to understand what you need going forward. So that you can take care of yourself in the best way. And you don't have to rely on someone outside of you who's not an expert on you, telling you what you should be doing to make yourself feel better. So I'm very, very excited to get to offer these packages, I know that they will change lives. I just know this because they've changed mine. So you can find all the details about them at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash health. And I cannot wait for you to check to check that out. Okay, so this kind of aligns with what metabolic health coaching and health packages is topic today. One of the things that is so challenging, and so frustrating after we get a diagnosis of breast cancer and our mind starts to change, and first we're dealing with treatment, how do I go through treatment, but I remember the first time that I went through treatment I was told, and it was declared to me, I don't want you taking vitamins. I don't want you doing any kind of extra therapies. We don't want you to do anything when you're in chemotherapy. And I didn't know any different I didn't know any better. So I followed those rules. And I felt horrible, horrible, like literally ripped up my body. And it wasn't until after I finished treatment that I started to pursue the is complementary therapies, natural therapies and I say complementary, because there's a difference between complementary and alternative. Not that one is okay and one is not okay you do you alternative, though means I'm going to do this instead of standard of care. Complementary means I'm going to do this along with standard of care. That's the integrative approach. And I am a big believer and advocate in the integrated approach, because I think both fields have something beneficial to offer. So that being said, we base a lot we the general public science, medical practitioners, natural paths, coaches, Laura Lummer 5:42 if you're going to stay in integrity, you want to make sure you have good evidence based information. What does that mean? It means you look into PubMed, you look into reliable sources where good data has been collected, that gives valid information on what might impact people's health for the better or for the worse, I think that's very important. But I think that as someone outside of that field, may not know is that just because something is called a study, or talked about as a study does not mean it's good, does not mean it's valid, does not mean that it's met the standard of what a good high quality study is. And the dangerous thing about that is that media or social media, or somebody picks up on information like this, and they blast it all over the headlines without really talking about what it means going into detail about what it means. And then they scare the shit out of people, when the practice that they're talking about could be someone that could, could be something that could actually be a benefit to you. So this is what happened recently. And I think it's really important to talk about because again, here we come. We're like, Okay, I had cancer. Why? What do I do I need to change something? Do I need to improve my lifestyle? Do I need to process emotions? What do I need to do? What safe to eat, what's not safe to eat? Should I be a vegan? Should I be cute, all of that? It's overwhelming. It's confusing. And it causes a lot of stress for a lot of people. And as a result of that, overwhelm, always leads to the same result, do nothing. When we're overwhelmed. Our brain is in tilt, like there's too much information in our brain, it doesn't know how to process it. And so we don't make decisions and choices and change, we just kind of stay where we're at, because it's too overwhelming. Okay. So what I'm talking about this is because was it last week or week and a half ago, this article came out. And it talked about what is called the study. And I want to tell you, this is not a study. So let's talk about what the different kinds of studies are. When I say if something's quality evidence, how do I know? Like, I talk about studies often on this podcast. But I like to tell you like this, Hey, this was a really small study, there was nine people in it, right? So how relevant is what happened to nine people compared to billions of people in the world of human beings? So I think it's important to point things like that out. There are different levels of what's a study, and there's different criteria that make it really valid and really good, or kind of just shit, or maybe just a hypothesis, or maybe something that really needs lots more investigation. Maybe they bring something up, and it's like, okay, well, that's interesting. But the way this was done isn't really good data. So we can look back into that and structure a study in a much better way to make sure that before we start telling people this, that we know the data is accurate, so that we're not freaking people out. So we're not making people more overwhelmed and more scared. The this study that came out, did exactly that. So that 10 days ago, the headline goes out all over the news, intermittent fasting, linked to 91% increase in risk of death from heart disease study says, I get posts about it in my membership group. I received multiple emails about it, and direct messages about this saying, What are your thoughts? Is this dangerous? And I looked into it, I looked into the daily study, I reached out to my group of colleagues and said, What's going on here? We looked into it. And I thought, I really need to talk about this on the podcast, because I know that a handful of people reached out to me, that means there's a lot more people who are concerned about this. So I want to make sure that you understand what this means. so that you could use this information in the right perspective through the right lens, and not one that just leaves you feeling fearful. So let's talk about what a gold standard is, when it comes to a scientific study. So a gold standard would be considered a randomized control, double blind study. What that means is that people get randomly selected and randomly assigned to groups. There's one group is a control group, the control group, whatever you're studying, you're going to have this group do and you're going to control them, you're gonna watch them, and you're going to compare them to someone else who isn't doing that. And then double blind means that neither the control group, nor the researchers know who's getting the treatment that's being controlled for, okay, that's the gold standard, because that way, there's no bias, there's no expectations. And we say, These people are doing exactly this, these people aren't, does this make a difference? Now ask yourself? Could you do that with the intermittent fasting study, because it's kind of hard for someone not to think that they're doing intermittent fasting. So both the researchers and the control group are going to know, if we say, Hey, I only want you to eat in an eight hour window. So it'd be really tough to do that kind of a study, right? And then for however long the study was, you'd have to keep watching those people, like, you'd literally have to keep them in your lab and watch them and observe them. Because people don't always do what they're say they're gonna do, right? People say, Yeah, I fasted for eight hours. But I only had just that one butter coffee during that eight hours, does that mean it was still a fast or not? Right? So a kind of study like that, and why these kinds of studies are difficult to get is because they're super hard to control for, amongst other kind of political things. Okay. So the, that is the gold standard. And you could see when it comes to intermittent fasting, you're probably never gonna get that. Now, other studies are things like descriptive studies, where they're doing a study to try to describe the characteristics of a population or of a phenomenon of what happened. These are observational, and it involves looking at different case studies or asking surveys or, you know, conducting surveys, asking questions, or observing like observational studies, where you just watch something and you draw your conclusions from it. Not a lot of really accurate valid data. But something else that has to happen for a study to be really good is that it's got to be peer reviewed. So other scientists in that field or who do that research, look at it, and duplicate it. And then it gets peer reviewed. And they're like, yeah, that actually follow the scientific method, we were able to duplicate the results these guys got, and now we're republishing it in this article, and people should look at this evidence that this has some value to it, it's got some weight to it, okay? Compare that to an observational study, where I don't decide you're going to do something, and I don't decide they're going to do something, I just kind of watch what you do. And I watch what you do. Or, actually, I don't have the time to really watch you. So I'm just going to ask you questions, I'm going to give you a survey, and I'm going to ask you to remember what you did over the last few days, I'm going to ask you, can you tell me how much time you spent not eating over the last two days. And I'm going to trust your recall on that. I'm not going to vet this population that I'm serving, I'm not going to look at their backgrounds, their lifestyle habits, what they eat, when they are eating, I'm only going to look at what they remember about how long they went without eating. So I think you could see the difference in the quality of the information that you will get between these two studies. Now, there's a lot of other kinds of studies, but I'm bringing up what the gold standard is. And what this observational study is because this headline about intermittent fasting came from a somewhat observational study. And this was presented at an American Heart Association Conference, and the media picked up on this and ran with it. So I wanted to understand, why would they say this? Like, I know for so many reasons, and so much investigation and so much research. I know the benefits of intermittent fasting even from personal experience, which would only be anecdotal, right? So if you called me up and said, Hey, Laura, do you remember how many hours you fasted over the last two days? Honestly, because I had COVID and I wasn't eating I could tell you Yes, exactly. But I wouldn't have to go back and look because I document the time that I go without eating so I Have to go back. And look, I don't I don't remember that kind of stuff. And you know, that's gotten worse with age that maybe I'm just not paying attention. But if you ask me, What did you eat, when you did eat, I would still have to go back and look at my food truck. And I'd have spent some time Thank GOD Oh, no, I don't remember what I ate. Right? So studies where we survey people, and we asked them to recall what's happened in their past two days. Not a whole lot of quality there. But let's look at who was asked, and how this information was gleaned. Okay, so the first I read about this article, it was published in The Washington Post, and it was an article called the intermittent fasting trend may pose risks to your heart. And then the second article that I found about this was the one I just mentioned, intermittent fasting, linked to 91% increase in risk of death from heart disease study sets. So I read through these, and then I've got some more information, which I'm going to share with you. And I'm going to post links to all this because I want you to read it for yourself, and you'd look at it for yourself and make your own decisions. But I'm reading through this one. And the article says that this study looked at answers to questions, along with depth data from 2003 through 2019. Let me be very clear on what that means. That does not mean that they looked at the death data from the people who were surveyed and answered these questions. They looked at the people's answers to these questions. And then they separately looked at death data. And then they put both of those line graphs on a chart and said, Hmm, well, these people said this, and death data increase this much by cardiovascular disease. That must be why, even though we weren't looking at the same people, again, we didn't vet we didn't look at more, we just asked these questions about how long they went without eating. And then we looked at data from other people who have no frickin idea what they did. But we said a lot of people died from heart disease. Okay. This article in fortune.com says it wasn't clear how long the patients continued the intermittent fasting, the ones that answered the questionnaire, though, the researchers assumed they kept it up. What. So I just asked you what happened over two days. And then I assumed that this was a lifestyle practice. Okay. The fasting patients were more likely to be younger men with a higher BMI, body mass index, meaning overweight. And with food insecurity, food insecurity means that these people did not have a lot of access to good healthy food, it means they lived in areas where and sadly, there are food deserts all over this country. And a food desert basically means something where a grocery store is really hard for them to get to, there's not just something local, they can walk to and buy fresh food. And in many food deserts, people literally buy their food from 711. So when you are in food insecurity, that means you can't just eat whenever you want, you maybe go many days without food, which is that intermittent fasting, is that starving, you don't have access to food. So I mean, it could kind of be both right. But when people are really practicing intermittent fasting, there's more than just not eating going into it. It's typically part of a healthy lifestyle plan or a therapeutic plan. So there's other support going in and around what's happening when you're doing intermittent fasting, okay? When you are overweight, and leaving in living in food insecurity. Here's an assumption I'm going to make that when you are eating, you're most likely not eating a healthy whole food diet, because you don't have a lot of access to healthy whole food. And you're overweight. So the body is something's going on there, right? Because you're in food insecurity. So you don't have a lot of access to food, but you're also overweight. And we know that hyper palatable and ultra processed foods lead to more cases of overweight. So I would question that, what did you eat when you weren't eating? So then I looked at the datasheet for this study. And it shows kind of a baseline it says the baseline characteristics of study participants. So the sample size, the number of people they sent a survey out to was 20,078 people. And they asked about these eating durations. One was Did you eat less than an eight hour window? Did you eat between eight and 10 hours in a day? Did you eat between 10 and 12 hours in a day? Did you eat between 12 and 16 hours in a day? Or did you eat for more than 16 hours in a day? So I'm only going to look at two of these columns. Because one popular method of intro and fasting is the 16 Eight, right? So you fast for 16 hours a day, and you eat within an eight hour window. So I'm going to go with the eight for eight to 10 hours, okay. And then I'm gonna go with the highest column here, which is greater than 16 hours. So the people who finish the survey, saying that they ate between eight and 10 hours, that was 14 192 people, their average age was 44.8 years old. 49% of them were men, 20% of them, smoked. 67% of them drank, I don't know how often or how much just drink 29% of them were overweight. 10% of them had cardiovascular disease, and seven and a half percent had cancer. Okay, that's the statistics for that column for the people who ate more than 16 hours a day, and I want you to think about that for a second. There's 24 hours in a day, and you ate for more than 16 hours in a day. And it didn't say eating for 16 hours said more than 16 hours. But if I'm eating for more than 16 hours, well, I'm eating then right up to the time I go to sleep, and I'm not sleeping for at least eight hours, which seven to eight hours asleep is a healthy recommendation. Maybe they were eating sleeping for seven, I don't know, that's not what the data says it doesn't, it doesn't reveal that. Or the implications of that means on your blood sugar on your BMI on your insulin, on your heart, and everything, on your energy and on your quality of sleep, you're eating all day up until the moment you go to sleep, that's going to impact your sleep. The number of people who said that was 15 109. So that was the sample in there. 47.4% of them were men. And those men 24% of them smoked 75% of them drank. And their BMI was 29.3, which puts them in the obese category. Okay, seven and a half percent of them had cardiovascular disease. Remember, the people who ate between eight and 10 hours, 10% of them had cardiovascular disease. But the people who ate more than 16 hours a day 12% of them had cancer. The people who ate between eight and 10 hours, seven and a half percent had cancer. Okay, that's the little data chart that gets published in this. And again, I'm gonna link to this. So there's more statistics, you can read all of them, but I don't want to get too sciency. In this, I just want to point out that we have to understand before headlines scare us and frigging confuse us that we're did this data come from? Is this something I should really pay attention to? Is this something I should ask about? Because let me give you an example of what this means. There is the idea of correlation, meaning, hmm, we looked at something and we said, well, that follow the same pattern, these two things kind of as this thing increased, that thing increased. So when we take data from a survey, asking people how many hours they went without eating, and then we take other data from how many people died during a period of time. And we plot them both out on a graph, we say, this data shows that these people ate and this is this is the the line that it develops. And here's the line that we look at that we get from this death data. And the people who ate more their line looks like this. And the depth data over that period of time looks like this. Is that a correlation? Or is that a causation in the difference being this causes that? So I'm going to give you two examples of what correlation can look like. And I'm going to link to this article also. So you can inform yourself more. So there's an article on Think big. And it talks about the difference between correlation. And causation is as five brilliant graphs that teach correlation versus causation. There's multiple graphs. I mean, they're kind of funny, but here's two of them. One says, total revenue generated by arcades correlates with computer science doctorates awarded in the United States. What? Are they looking at the same people? No. But they're looking at how much revenue is generated by arcades over a period of time. And then they're looking at how many people that computer science doctorates over a period of time. And they're like, holy cow. Look at that line graph shows up. Does one have something to do with the other? The more arcades the more money arcades make? The Smarter computer science people get? Hmm, correlation, or causation. Here's another one. Letters in winning word of Scripps national spelling b Laura Lummer 25:01 correlates with number of people killed by venomous spiders. When we plot out on a graph, the number of letters, so from five letters to 15 letters, and we look at the number of people who died from zero deaths to 15 deaths from venomous spider bites, we see that this graph looks like this very similar pattern to this graph. So since the words in the National Spelling Bee, that had 15 letters was the highest amount we looked at. And we noticed that same year that the letters more of those words had 15 letters, that same year, was the year that most people die from venomous spiders, venomous spider bites, do you think correlation or causation? So I'm gonna link to that you look at because there's some, some other ones, but they're gonna have like, kind of triggering things in them. So I don't really want to talk about them on the podcast. But I just want to use that to say, we have got to look out for ourselves, ladies, friends. When we talk about advocating for herself after breast cancer diagnosis, it's real. We really, really have to embrace that we've got to be able to advocate for ourselves when we're in that system, we know this. But as human beings, over all concerned with their health, we've got to think for ourselves, we've got to investigate things, we've got to ask questions, because irresponsible publishing like this, like news media taking hold of an abstract that's presented at an American Heart Association, revealing what they saw in a survey, that is not a quality study that is not quality data. So to take that, and put it out all over the world, saying a beneficial health practice of intermittent fasting. And there's a lot of information, I will post a list of books you can read about intermittent fasting, do you need to look at those and take them with a grain of salt? You do? You've got to look at them and ask yourself is this valid data, right? Because it's really hard to do that kind of a study. And who wants to finance that kind of a study, like if I had to get 20,000 people together, and I had to have a controlled group. And then I had to have another group that I could compare the data between, that's super expensive, because I gotta watch these people who is going to finance that, when the outcome is, hey, if this was beneficial, what it tells us is, eat less food, eat fewer hours throughout your day. What food company wants to finance that? What pharmaceutical company wants to finance that? Who gets a financial benefit from financing a study like that? Nobody. You know, there's even the fast mimicking, which I've done in the past and talked about the pro lawn. And a lot of people like doing pro lawn and a lot of people get really great benefits from Pro lawn. But I look at proline and I make, why don't I pay $500, which I paid in the past, right? Because I was working with a naturopath who suggested I do this, and I did it twice. And I went, and it was recommended that you do it three times, one week of a month, three months in a row. But by month three, I said, Why am I paying $500 Not to eat? How about I just don't eat? And no sounds reasonable to me. And then I see what's in the box. So I think I have olives in my fridge. Right? I have soup in my fridge broth, I can eat I have water. So I can kind of do this myself for free. Right? So when you think about it like that, and we know how politics works. We know how pharmaceuticals work. It doesn't make sense to do a study like that. So when people say, well, there's no good studies on intermittent fasting. Well, there's a lot of information. And I think there are there are a lot of good studies, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence meaning personal experiences of people. But is there a gold standard study? No. And I don't see how there ever could be. Right? So I think everything we have to think about and we have to examine for ourselves, right? But when a study comes out, or someone puts out information, we got to look at this, you know, we can't just make these crazy conclusions. When we're looking at a population of people who are smoking or drinking alcohol, who were overweight, who had so many things going on that could have contributed to coronary heart disease and say, Oh, well, listen, what ever timeframe they recalled eating seem to have an impact on coronary heart disease. I mean, it makes no sense to me. And so I thought it was really important to talk about because you may have read it you You may have heard it, it may have scared you, it may have made you go, what the heck, and may have made you run and eat something because you've been fasting for 14 hours, oh my god, I gotta get to 16. You know, if that happened, I want you to be able to understand what this really means. And so a link to everything linked to the articles, a link to the datasheet for the study. And I just want to help this community, our community understand, we've got to be so careful about what information we take in and apply to ourself or think applies to us. And it's really important that if you don't understand it, or you're like, I don't even want to put time into reading that or investigating that. Because maybe you're tired. Maybe you're going through chemo, maybe you feel like shit, you know, I can't, I can't deal with it right now. Ask somebody about it. Right? Reach out. I'm so thankful for the people who brought it to my attention, and who asked me questions about it, because they're good questions to ask. And I think that getting more information and understanding the validity behind some of these things can help us feel good and confident in the practices we choose to do for ourselves. And I'll tell you this, I've talked to my members about this. And I'll tell you this, intermittent fasting is not for everybody. I love intermittent fasting, it gives me tremendous benefits. And I know many people who love it, like I never get brain fog. I never take Tums anymore. I never take pride lowsec anymore. You know, I've lost between intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet. From the time I was diagnosed till now a total of 75 pounds. I mean, I just it works for me. But it doesn't work for everybody. There are people who have food issues, right? Whether it's food addictions, or disordered eating patterns. So mentally, what I have found, you know, physically, I've had a lot of benefits from intermittent fasting. But a big part of being able to do intermittent fasting in a healthy way, involves a lot of head junk, we really have to think through things we think through what hunger sing hunger signals, sorry, tongue twister, hunger signals mean to us. You know, like, I remember when I first started practicing years ago, and I get really hungry, and my stomach would be growling. And I have to talk myself through it and say, It's okay that your stomach is growling. You've got extra energy stored on your body. This is okay. Right? It's not an emergency. I'm not starving to death. Right? It's okay. And I'd have to walk myself through it. Well, you know, there are people who have food addictions, or food, thoughts, food issues, who have said to me, I gained weight when I was doing intermittent fasting. And when I asked tell me, you know how that happened, because they had so much fear around going for a period of time without food, that calories in calories out still has significance, right? The laws of thermodynamics still apply to us. So they would eat a tremendous amount of food before the fast and after the fast, because mentally, they had a lot of fear, and they had a lot of thoughts. And so if that applies to somebody, intermittent fasting isn't for them. First, the therapy of working through the relationship with food, and their thoughts about food, and then gently finding a food program that works for them. So will it be a benefit to everybody? No. But will it create cardiovascular disease in 90% of the people that 91 So the people that practice it would really question that data. Yeah. So anyway, thanks for letting me rant. I hope that it helped. I really do. I mean, I just, I didn't want to do this to you know, bash anybody's work. But I want to talk to this community about understanding it in a way that's helpful and doesn't feed more fear because God knows we get enough fear to deal with in our community. Okay. So check out the links, you can find the show notes on my website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com Or just scroll down where you're listening to this podcast or watching on YouTube and the links will be right there. And remember, go to my website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash health. Check out the metabolic health coaching packages. If you want to stop guessing stop worrying, stop freaking out and, and really get rid of some of the fear and confusion and frustration. Then let's work together. And let's map out what you really need based on what your body tells us. It's fascinating stuff. All right, friends, I'll talk to you again soon. So good to be back. Take care. You've heard your courage to the test laid all your doubts. Your mind is clearer than before. Your heart is full and wanting more your futures given up Are you know have you been waiting all.



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