THE SUGAR & CANCER CONNECTION
I have always believed that the reason a person gets cancer will be multifactorial. It will never be just one thing. And every single person will have a very different reason for why they got cancer. There will never be two cases that are identically the same.
But there are certain things that we KNOW have a connection with cancer. And if this thing were to spark relevancy in our lives, then perhaps we could draw a line to that and think of it as one of the causes of cancer. Certainly I think this could have influenced mine!
The sugar cancer connection
Yes, I’m talking about sugar. I’ve always had a sweet tooth. I know so many people can relate to that. Sugar brings them joy. Biologically sugar does spike dopamine! And it never gets old. So people get these awful addictions to sugar and then they can’t stop. Some are worse than others.
So the question… does sugar have a connection with cancer cells? Or cancer stem cells? Absolutely. The science is strong and we will review that. As always, I’ll remain objective and honest in my language and also give you my own opinions here and there along with the research.
Sugar and poor nutrition
The thing about having a sugar addiction is… you eat a lot of sugar. And when a high volume of the food you eat is sugar, you are missing out on really great vitamins and minerals that your body needs and instead putting in place this substance that spikes your insulin levels and robs you of proper nutrition.
Poor nutrition for the majority of one’s life can increase the risk of cancer. I don’t want you to blame yourself, if this is you. Many of us never knew any better, or everyone around us always ate a certain way so we figured it was the norm (eating lots of sugar) and so we followed it.
Maybe we actually never felt ill until the cancer. But now that we know, let’s avoid sugar and eliminate that root cause or risk.
A healthy immune system stems from proper nutrition and is vital in disease prevention. It recognizes and attacks mutations in cells before these turn into cancer.
Lead with plants, not sugar! 😉
Fake sugar has an impact on cancer
Fake sugar is a real problem with cancer patients. When blood sugar is unstable, many things can happen- inflammation, thyroid problems, you name it. Chronic inflammation can be a hallmark for cancer. A hallmark for the cancer remaining, and a hallmark that puts you at risk for cancer.
But for some reason, many people think that diet sugar has no play in the connection with cancer. Aspartame, Equal Sugar… Cancer. It can impact this. It can actually be a big part of inflammation and cancer and so many foods and drinks have fake sugar.
When talking about fake sugar, like aspartame, The Red River Health And Wellness Center said this, referencing the risks of cancer along with other diseases. They said,
“A 9-year study of almost 60,000 women showed those who drank two or more cans of diet soda per day were 50 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease… Aspartame is not without controversy. Over the years, it has been associated with myriad health conditions, including brain tumors, birth defects, cancer, and memory loss, and is the culprit in numerous health complaints to the FDA…”
Something to consider.
Sugar leads to inflammation, inflammation leads to cancer. Is sugar cancer causing?
We must understand this biological process. Sugar can increase inflammation. Chronic inflammation will put a person at risk for cancer, OR will hinder someone from ever healing FROM cancer if they don’t address their inflammation.
The problem with sugar is it spikes insulin levels, which can ignite inflammation.
Spiking your insulin levels (with sugar) means reducing nitric oxide availability (which impacts your heart) and can increase free radicals. When your insulin levels have now made these free radicals to go haywire– that will cause inflammation.
And we know that inflammation is a hallmark of cancer.
Therefore, there is a true connection between sugar and cancer.
Does sugar feed cancer?
It is true that sugar will feed every single cell in your body and of course this includes cancer cells. Sugar itself does not fan the flame of cancer BUT what sugar does to the BODY can cause cancer. It all goes back to inflammation. Sugar creates inflammation. Inflammation, over time, can create cancer.
There is also the common question, “Is sugar bad for cancer patients?” and to that I say, it will do you absolutely no favors. I believe cancer patients should NOT include any type of processed sugars in their diets. It can set you back. And it certainly will not help you heal cancer. Which leads me to my next point…
Why giving up sugar entirely is the better option
Sugar and cancer together is a surprising connection and one to pay attention to deeply. Especially if you have cancer. Should you avoid sugar if you have cancer? Yes.
The thing is, you should do more than just try to “cut back” on sugar if you have cancer. In my humble opinion, you will have to learn to ditch all types of processed sugar. And you will have to learn to add in healing foods. White sugar can slow down absorption of the good nutrients that you might be consuming alongside! This is why I say ditch sugar altogether while adding healing things in. That salad does not balance out that processed cookie, I know we wish it would! The cookie has a connection to cancer because of its processed sugar.
The salad has connections to being anticancer and lowering inflammation
Complex Sugars: This type of sugars are found in fruits, honey, vegetables, etc. I most certainly advocate for these types of sugars and believe your body needs of course in balance. Learn more about the difference between natural vs processed sugars here.
Choose the plants! Fruits and Vegetables have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods, especially processed, sugary foods. The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best. Wouldn’t it make sense that the opposite is true? That consuming processed sugar would harm your immune system?
There is much research that suggests that following a plant-based diet can boost your immunity, lower inflammation, help you fight free radicals and reduce cancer risk. I highly suggest reading up on those.
Another study I found interesting shows that fruits, vegetables, plant-derived beverages such as green tea and cacao-based products (go for Criollo Cacao– trust me!) are the main dietary sources of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to possess a wide variety of anticancer effects: they modulate reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzyme activities, participate in arresting the cell cycle, induce apoptosis, autophagy, and suppress cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness.
I feel so good when I consume a variety of plants. I want that for everyone!
To ignore the connection of sugar and cancer would be a shame. I know most practices are recognizing that but unfortunately only some people really highlight it with such urgency that we cannot ignore it. True healing comes from treating your body like a temple, and that very much includes the food you feed it. People continuously ask me, “Should you avoid sugar to prevent cancer?” And while I will always say yes, just know that cancer is still multifactorial. It will not be JUST avoiding sugar that will prevent cancer just like it will not be avoiding sugar that will CURE one’s cancer. Sugar is powerful and that needs to be understood, but again, cancer will always be something that is multifactorial in preventing and also treating it.
But back to plants. I want you to think of the colors of the world, the food of God’s earth: This is there to nourish us. It is enough. It is satisfying! Sugar is just an addiction that we don’t need. It’s an easy dopamine boost and we want the real deal! Sugar is not it. The connection to cancer is real, especially with the conclusions we can draw around inflammation being the middleman between the two.
What do you think?