Sugar Identified as a Top Cause of the Surge in Cancer
By Rosie Funderburk • Rosie Health Consulting
Americans crave sugar, and it’s seriously affecting our health. Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!
Today, as much as 40 percent of US healthcare expenditures are directly related to the overconsumption of sugar. Incredibly, we spend more than $1 trillion each year fighting the damaging health effects of sugar. The ramifications run the gamut from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer, and dental cavities.
How Excess Sugar and Obesity Promotes Cancer
Sugar is not our body’s ideal fuel. Sugar generates free radicals, which in turn causes mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage. Research has shown that chronic overeating, in general, has a similar effect. Most people who overeat also tend to eat many sugar-laden foods, a double-whammy in terms of cancer risk.
Chronic overeating places stress on the membranous network found inside the mitochondria of your cells. Thus continuously eating more than your body actually needs promotes insulin resistance by the mere fact that your cells are stressed by the work placed on them by the excess nutrients.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup: The Primary Cancer Culprit
According to recent research from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, refined sugar not only significantly increases your risk of breast cancer, it also raises the risk of tumors spreading to other organs.
Moreover, this study found that it was primarily the refined fructose in high-fructose corn syrup found in most processed foods and beverages that was responsible for the breast tumors and the metastasis.
Without Sugar, Cancer Cannot Thrive
One of the most powerful strategies I know of to avoid and/or treat cancer is to starve the cancer cells by depriving them of their food source, which is primarily sugar and excessive protein. Unlike all the other cells in your body, which can burn carbs or fat for fuel, cancer cells have lost that metabolic flexibility. They can only thrive if there is enough sugar present.
Reduce Your Fructose and Non-Fiber Carb Intake
I recommend reducing your total fructose intake to a maximum of 25 grams/day, from all sources, including fruit. If you are insulin resistant, you will do well to make your upper limit 15 grams/day. 75 grams of sugar lowers your immune system for up to 5 hours. Amazingly, one can of Mountain Dew contains 65 grams of sugar!
The easiest way to dramatically cut down on your sugar and fructose consumption is to switch to REAL foods. Most of the added sugar consumed comes from processed fare, not from adding a teaspoon of sugar to your tea or coffee. But, there are other ways to cut down as well. These include:
- Cutting back on the amount of sugar you personally add to your food and drink.
- Using sweeteners, like Monkfruit (available at Costco) instead of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners.
- Eat fresh fruit for desserts.
- Avoid Aspartame at all costs. It tops the list of sugar substitutes to avoid because it was proven to cause cancer in multiple independent studies. Based on these studies, the FDA should return to banning Aspartame.
- The artificial sweetener, Sucralose (Splenda), is rated ‘with caution.’ The same lab that found that Aspartame causes cancer also announced that sucralose caused leukemia in mice.
By being mindful each day and reading labels, you can dramatically reduce the amount of sugar you consume which can dramatically improve your health.
Rosie Funderburk is a professional health coach and founder of Rosie Health Consulting