Does Sugar Feed Cancer?
Hello lovely you!
I’ve talked the past two Tuesdays about the importance of change and how to make lasting change in your life. I would be very remiss if I didn’t talk about changing your diet when battling cancer.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, my doctors didn’t think nutrition would make one iota of difference. They wrote me off as a goner and told me I could eat whatever I wanted, even if what I wanted was pie and cookies and cake.
The sad truth is, medical doctors are not taught nutrition. They are not taught that what we put into our body has everything to do with our health. They are taught how to treat (not cure) diseases and to do this they use scalpels, chemo, radiation and prescription medications. That’s it.
It is absolutely horrifying to me that nutrition is often not a part of cancer treatment. Sure, a nutritionist may be assigned to your care team and he or she may sit down with you to discuss how many calories and how much protein you need so you don’t waste. But it usually doesn’t go much farther than that.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, knew more about the medicinal quality of food thousands of years ago than most doctors do today! He was the one who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Well here’s something I can tell you for a fact: sugar is neither a food nor a medicine, and it has no business being in anyone’s diet, let alone someone who is battling cancer!
The Truth About Sugar – It’s Not Pretty
You won’t get an argument from me when it comes to the deliciousness of sugar. Back in the day I could put away sweets like nobody’s business. And I fully recognize that sugar can give us a temporary lift in energy and mood.
But make no mistake about it – sugar is the enemy. It pretends to be your friend by giving you an endorphin rush, but sugar is poison. And it’s a poison that we eat more and more of from decade to decade.
Consider this: In 1700 the average person age roughly 4 pounds of sugar per year. In the 1800s, people ate, on average, about 18 pounds of sugar per year. In the 1900s that number rose to 90 pounds per year. And in the year 2012… are you sitting down… more than half of the population was eating 180 pounds of sugar per year.
How the bleeping bleep did we as human beings go from 4 pounds of sugar per year to 180 pounds per year?!! But wait it gets worse…
In 1890, only 3 people out of 100,000 had diabetes. According to the CDC, in 2012, roughly 8,000 out of every 100,000 were diagnosed with diabetes.
We can certainly thank the food manufacturing industry for loading sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup, into just about every process food. From cereals to crackers to frozen dinners and yogurt (let alone the obvious soda and ice cream etc.), if it comes packaged, you can bet sugar is in there.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:
And to make matters worse, sugar is highly addictive – the more we eat, the more we want. There is actually a doctor in France, Dr. Serge Ahmed, who has been studying rats. He gives them the choice between cocaine and sugar and guess which one the rats choose every single time?
You guess it… sugar!
But let’s get down to what I really want to talk about… does sugar feed cancer cells?
Does sugar feed cancer? Without question it does. Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. It makes zero sense to try and kill the cancer in your body and feed that cancer at the exact same time. I have known so many people who ate tons of sugar through their treatment and I can tell you, it didn’t help, and in many cases, the ending was very sad.
Please please please listen to me. Cut out sugar from your diet. And just so you’re very clear, sugar comes in many different forms and is listed on ingredients lists under many different names like:Anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar, carbitol, concentrated fruit juice, corn sweetener, diglycerides, disaccharides, evaporated cane juice, erythritol, Florida crystals, fructooligosaccharides, galactose, glucitol, glucoamine, hexitol, inversol, isomalt, maltodextrin, malted barley, malts, mannitol, nectars, pentose, raisin syrup, ribose rice syrup, rice malt, rice syrup solids, sorbitol, sorghum, sucanat, sucanet, xylitol and zylose.
That’s QUITE A LIST!!! This is why it’s important to read labels and to know what to look for. Food manufacturers try to trick us, they really do. They use language we won’t know, much like lawyers, so we’ll just give up reading and think, “Oh well, I guess this all seems fine.”
X Ways to Get Off Sugar
I know it won’t be easy. And if you are battling cancer right now, I know you have many emotions going on inside of you and you want desperately to curl up every day in some of your favorite comfort foods. But this is your LIFE we are talking about. This isn’t about quitting sugar so you can lose 10 pounds before summer, this is about quitting sugar so you can live. I’m sorry, but I need to be real blunt here.
Here are some ways you can quit sugar:
- Stop Buying Processed Foods
This should be really obvious and your number one priority right now nutrition-wise. If is comes in a bag, box or plastic container, don’t buy or eat it. Stick to whole foods.
- Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Yep, when I say most manufactured foods have sugar in them I really mean it. Read the ingredients on the back of your favorite salad dressings. You’ll see one of the names for sugar.
Start making your own dressing. Plain ol’ olive oil and vinegar or lemon is great, try and stick with that. You can also use an avocado and a little olive oil and some chopped garlic. This makes a delicious and creamy dressing.
- Watch Your Fruit Intake
Yes, ordinarily I would say fruit is okay, but fruit is loaded with sugar. It may be natural sugar, but it will still feed the cancer. In general, stick with low glycemic foods that won’t spike your blood sugar.
If you need your coffee or tea sweet, I encourage you to use only a couple of alternatives. Frankly, many sugar substitutes are just toxic chemicals that have been shown in studies to CAUSE cancer. So stay away from most of them. Stevia seems the most natural and safest of all of them.
Know Your Personality
Some people can go cold turkey and some can’t. You need to set yourself up for success so understand which type of person you are. If you can’t quit sugar overnight, then create a quitting plan and stick with it. Tell yourself (and write it down) that each day you will cut back more and more. So maybe if you currently drink two sodas a day, you will cut that down to one soda and then none. Allow yourself dessert every other day, then only twice a week, and then none.
Don’t Keep Bad Food in the House
Your family will have to help in this department and I would think they would right now. You cannot keep food in the house that will tempt you. After a month or so you may feel so great and have broken your addiction, that loved ones can bring in their favorite snacks again. But to begin, you will need all the help you can get. Clean out the junk food, donate it to a shelter in your area, and make sure to have wholesome and nutritious foods in the house.
Try Dark Chocolate
In the beginning you will most likely still crave something sweet every now and then and I recommend you eat dark chocolate. It will satisfy your craving and it is also loaded with powerful antioxidants. Do not get milk chocolate, only dark, and make sure the cacao count is above 80% to reap all of the health benefits.
Does sugar feed cancer? You bet it does. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting off of sugar – it is poison and has no business being eaten by humans, especially those humans who have cancer.
With much love and light,