Does sugar lead to cancer? What should be the right diet?
We all like sweet food so much, which makes our sugar consumption very high. Nowadays, sugar is added to almost everything and we do not think about the consequences of such a diet when consuming it.
How does sugar affect our body?
We need sugar in the form of carbohydrates to have the energy we need to function. However, not all sugar is healthy and desirable. There are also those that have a negative effect on our body and cause various diseases and diseases. The most common are:
- tooth decay,
- Circulatory disorders (including heart disease).
However, little is said about the link between sugar and cancer.
Sometimes it’s hard to refuse a sweet snack. Sugar linked to cancer supports the work of the brain and provides the body with energy. But if you often eat sweets or sweet fruit, you need to be aware of what you are risking. Not only diabetes and obesity. Also, for example, tumors.
Does sugar affect cancer?
The German biochemist Otto Heinrich Warburg discovered that the metabolism (all chemical reactions and the related energy transformations occurring in living cells) of malignant tumors is largely dependent on glucose intake. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1931 for his discovery.
In 2008, a nine-year study began to demonstrate the effects of sugar on cancer. Researchers focused on observing and trying to understand the phenomenon whereby cancer cells process much more sugar on lactate than healthy cells. As it is one of the significant features of cancer cells, the process is extensively studied and used to detect, inter alia, brain tumors. It was not known, however, whether this was the cause of the cancer or whether it was a result of it.
The research shows that consumption of sugar in the disease of cancer results in faster growth of cells of cancer and its development.
How to reduce the effects of sugar consumption while having cancer?
Blood glucose level largely determines the appetite (when it decreases – physiological hunger appears). Glucose in the bloodstream is used by cells to produce energy. When the levels are too high, the body turns the excess sugar into glycogen or fat. Keeping your blood sugar under control allows you to maintain a constant weight and energy levels. Keep in mind that the more fiber and protein each meal contains, the slower the release of carbohydrates will be – with important benefits for balancing blood glucose levels. Ways to combine protein products with high-fiber carbohydrates:
- add seeds or nuts to fruit snacks and breakfast cereals,
- Eat a slice of whole wheat bread with an egg or a paste of boiled beans,
- Serve salmon or chicken with brown rice,
- Consume oatmeal pancakes with cottage cheese.
Remember that it is not glucose itself that is a threat to the development of cancer, but a poorly balanced diet in terms of basic nutrients that contributes to excess body weight and obesity. It is impossible to completely exclude carbohydrates from your diet, but you should choose sugars that will not cause excessive fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
It is estimated that about 1/3 of cancer incidence results from poor lifestyle: lack of physical activity, excessive stress, alcohol consumption, inadequate diet or excessive consumption translating into overweight or obesity. If we add the factor of smoking to this, we can multiply this number by two. It turns out that most of the diseases are prevented by applying appropriate lifestyle modifications.
Even if our genes carry a predisposition to develop cancer, we are not doomed to cancer, because a hygienic lifestyle is able to stop the multiplication of cancer cells and cause the immune system to quickly capture and neutralize them. Although we do not have a cure for cancer and we will probably never find a one-size-fits-all treatment for all cancers, we have a fair amount of knowledge about how to significantly reduce the risk of cancer by making the right choices.
The causes of tumors
Of course, not every cancer is a diet-related cancer. Scientific authorities have no doubts that most gastrointestinal cancers result from improper diet. For example, stomach cancer is closely correlated with salt intake, and colorectal cancer most commonly affects people whose diets are high in processed foods and low in fiber. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are also diet-dependent. Regardless of the substrate, a well-nourished organism has a much greater ability to detect mutations, eliminate defective cells and prevent their multiplication. You should take the best diet to fight cancer.
Many scientific studies confirm that BMI suggesting overweight or obesity positively correlates with some types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, carcinoma of the uterus, pancreas, colon, liver and ovary. Epidemiological studies suggest such a relationship, but do not tell us exactly what factors make it so. We can guess that body weight is influenced by negative eating habits and low physical activity. Too high supply of processed meat, total fat, too low consumption of vegetables, and thus fiber, have a huge impact on how exposed we are to getting sick. Excess body weight largely reflects our daily choices. We should therefore take care to change our habits permanently including an increase in motor activity combined with an increased consumption of plant-derived products and a limited consumption of highly processed foods (both meat and non-meat).