New Year’s Resolution: Eat Clean from Home to Prevent Cancer

In a world filled with New Year’s resolutions that peter out in a couple of weeks, Dr. Andre Goy of Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) passionately believes in two resolutions that need to stick… for our own good. 

“People need to move to home cooking and more of a plant-based diet,” he says.

Dr. Goy, Physician-in-Chief for HMH Oncology and Chairman of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, advocates for our own kitchens to bring us cancer-preventive nutrition more regularly throughout the week, and for public empowerment to increase their likelihood of negating the need for his–and other oncologists’–future medical intervention.

A recent Gallup poll found the number of meals Americans eat at home on average hit a historic low in 2022 of 8.2 meals a week. Statistics like this could possibly be the reason behind an increase in colorectal cancers in young adults for example.

A plant-based diet is one recommendation Dr. Goy has encouraged hundreds of his patients to adopt, saying those who’ve persisted with it felt “transformed” within a few weeks. One of his more significant cases included a patient with lymphoma who was feeling signs of lupus, such as fatigue, fogginess, and achiness, with blood work suggesting inflammation. 

After switching to a plant-based diet, this patient felt so much better that he was eventually able to stop no fewer than seven medications over the next four months. 

“He says he has not had so much energy in decades,” adds Dr. Goy. “Some of my patients called me and told me they had to go out of retirement because they felt so good and went back to work.”

The more we eat out, the more likely we are to subject ourselves to ultra-processed food refined with added sugar and white flour that can negatively impact the balance of gut bacteria, sowing a weak microbiome and in turn, leaving us more susceptible to development of cancers.

From the marriage of his work in cancer prevention and treatment, and his lifelong love of cooking, Dr. Goy believes leveraging the relationship between nutrition and cancer prevention is a practice anyone can take on from the comfort of their own homes. “Having worked as a chef in my family’s Inn in the French Alps, it is a great pleasure to combine this into my practice of medicine and oncology,” says Dr. Goy. “Over 50 percent of cancers are preventable, which should empower people to take action from quitting smoking and drinking to eating a plant-based diet and exercising.”

With the same passion by which he’s treated cancer in his patients, Dr. Goy urges people of all ages to take their nutrition into their own hands to prevent the necessity for his treatment in 2024, and beyond. “This year, do the right thing for you and your loved ones,” says Dr. Goy. “[Cleaner eating from cooking at home] is not a constraint; it is empowerment.”

Dr. Goy is available for interviews as to more specific examples of foods that feed our microbiome, foods that fight inflammation in our system, overall cancer prevention through nutrition, and easy, healthy food choices and substitutions anywhere we go.