How Does Eating Sweets affect Cancer?
The connection between intake of sweets and cancer risk is often misunderstood. Even if you significantly drop your sugar intake, your body will process sugar from your protein and fat intake. The notion that ‘eating sugar feeds cancer cells’ cannot be held completely true. Sugar intake is a requisite for the growth of healthy cells in the entire body, unlike what the adage implies. Learning the actual connection between eating sweets and cancer risk can help you to make better nutrition choices and reduce the impact of cancer on your health.[Read: Beating Cancer with Nutrition]
Why Cancer Patients should limit their Sugar Intake
Although, sugar present in sweets doesn’t aid cancer cells to metastasise, limiting its amount is a good idea because sugar triggers the production of insulin, which induces cellular growth. If you have high sugar intake, your body will produce an excess of insulin further stimulating cell growth. It’s favourable for healthy cells, though as a matter of fact, it may also encourage the cancerous cells to multiply, which is a major health concern.
How Cancer Patients can limit Excessive Insulin Production
Excess of insulin in your body leads to the growth of cancer cells, but this does not mean that you need to stay away from sugar and its forms or carbohydrates. Evidently, the complex sources of carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, dairy products and whole grain items are known as some of the best foods to fight/prevent cancer. You may continue to enjoy sweets and other carb sources, however, also add protein and fibre in your diet to regulate the production of insulin. [Read: Diet to prevent Cancer]
- Cancer patients should stick to sugar that occurs naturally .i.e, sugar present in fruits rather than consuming processed sugar in the form of candies and chocolates.
- Choose homemade fruit juices over sodas and packaged fruit drinks. They have concentrated sugar, which is unhealthy.
- Stop gorging on desserts every day. Limit its consumption to once or twice a week and ensure it is served modestly.
- Aim to include lots of unprocessed food in your diet including vegetables (particularly cruciferous veggies, garlic, mushroom and chili pepper) and fruits (especially watermelon and papaya), whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils and peas), nuts (particularly walnuts) and seeds and fish with omega-3 acids (salmon and shrimp). [Read:Five Cancer Fighting Foods]
- Make green tea your regular drink. It is 500 times more inclusive of cancer-fighting antioxidants than vitamin C sources. Drink at least two-three cups of green tea every day.
Clearly, sugar found in sweets does not ‘feed’ cancer cells, though consuming them in excess can certainly do so.
Read more articles on Cancer.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Aug 31, 2012
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