Since sugar has become a staple of the American diet over the past 100 years, rates of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic diseases have skyrocketed. A whopping 70% of Americans overweight, and by 2030, that number is expected to rise to 86%. The sugar-cancer link is known and affects many Americans.
We’re facing an epidemic. All signs point to the same villain: sugar.
The Real Culprit:
In the U.S., the average person consumes ~1/3 a pound of sugar each day, and many eat more than twice that amount. Disturbingly, the largest source of calories for Americans is sugar.
You absorb nutrients into the bloodstream each time that you eat. When eating sugar, the same thing happens ― but there’s a limit to how much sugar your body can tolerate.
We are designed to handle no more than one teaspoon of sugar in the bloodstream at any time. When there’s more, our systems must work overtime to keep up.
To compensate, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream to lower blood sugar by converting sugars into fats that can be absorbed by your cells.
Therefore, the more sugar you eat, the more insulin you produce. The more insulin you produce, the more fat your cells absorb and the more overweight you can become. Obesity is linked to chronic metabolic diseases ranging from Type 2 diabetes to heart disease and dementia ― and now to cancer as well. In other words, eat less sugar.
The Sugar-Cancer Connection:
The World Health Organization reported that those who are obese and/or diabetic are at increased risk for cancer, largely from increased insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction from excess sugar.
Here’s why: As sugar consumption rises, your body releases more insulin to mop up excess sugar in the bloodstream. This produces free radicals, which cause damage to cells. This unhealthy environment opens the door for cell mutations, and the longer the toxic conditions remain, the higher the likelihood of mutations.
In a nutshell, the more sugar you eat, the more toxic your body becomes ― and the greater your risk of developing cancer.
But the story doesn’t end there. Sugar also serves as fuel for the mutated cells, encouraging more mutations and cancer growth.
The National Institute of Health has investigated the link between sugar and 24 different types of cancer. Sugars were shown to increase risk of esophageal cancer, and excess fructose (as in high fructose corn syrup) appears to increase risk of cancer in the small intestines and colon. Refined sugars and fructose are also linked to breast cancer, and excess sugar increases the likelihood of cancer spreading to other organs.
There has been research suggesting a link between high sugar intake and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Some studies have found that a diet high in sugar may increase the risk of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer.
One possible explanation for this link is that high sugar intake can lead to weight gain and obesity, which are risk factors for certain types of cancer. In addition, some research suggests that the way in which our bodies process sugar may also increase the risk of cancer.
What’s the Solution to the Sugar-Cancer Link?
Think there’s nothing you can do about it? Think again. Take steps to support healthy cell function.
Because cancer cells need sugar to thrive, the first step is to cut out (or at least drastically cut back) added sugars. Remove simple carbs (devoid of any fiber) since they convert to sugar in the bloodstream. Next, you should avoid processed foods since they’re filled with added sugars.
Instead, eat whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies. Keep your diet as colorful as possible, and incorporate healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil and ghee.
While studies have found that sugar is addictive ― some even claiming it’s as addictive as cocaine ― the good news is that when you cut sugar from your diet for just a week or two, you’ll stop craving it altogether.
Feed your body what it needs and your cells will thank you for years to come.
As a patient at PrimeHealth, you receive a Personalized Wellness Plan which includes a nutrition program specific to your needs and physiology. Your health coach helps you implement your nutrition plan with enjoyment, at your pace. Contact us for a free phone consultation to discuss how we can work with you on reaching your health goals!