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North Adams Chiropractor | North Adams chiropractic care | MA | Sugar Feeds Cancer

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Sugar Feeds Cancer

Do the sugars we consume feed the cancer cells we all have within our bodies?

Dr. Otto Warburg, Ph.D., a 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, first discovered that cancer cells have a different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. He found that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic “without air”) glycolysis -- an abnormal process whereby glucose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose) is used as a primary fuel by cancer cells.

So the short answer is YES, sugar does feed cancer.

"Sugar" is a generic term used to identify simple and complex carbohydrates, which includes fructose, glucose and galactose; as well as maltose and sucrose (white table sugar).

The simple concept that "sugar feeds cancer" is often overlooked as part of a comprehensive support and treatment plan for cancer sufferers. Of over 4 million cancer patients being treated in the U.S. today, few are offered specific advice or guidelines for using optimum nutrition, beyond being told to "just eat good foods." Most cancer sufferers lack knowledge of what an optimal diet for them is or how to implement it.

Also our intake of sugars cause elevated levels of blood sugar which stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. When insulin levels remain elevated for long periods of time this causes an increase in inflammation throughout the body -- basically, the body's normal immune response goes into a kind of unhealthy overdrive. Then, through a complex and coordinated series of events, tumor cells use this inflammatory process to signal cells to multiply. It's the prolonged release of insulin in response to chronic elevations in blood sugar that is the second issue with sugars relative to the growth of cancer cells.

Many cancer sufferers could have a major improvement in the outcome of their disease if cancer's preferred fuel, glucose, was controlled. Eliminating refined sugar and adopting an optimal whole foods diet combined with top quality nutritional supplements and exercise, may be critical components in recovering from cancer.

Well sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates in our diet come from fruits, vegetables, whole-grain starches, beans, dairy products and of course processed sugars. Your whole body system needs carbohydrates as well as all your cells, including cancer cells. Healthy, balanced diets include a good percentage of the calories coming from carbohydrates; therefore you can't cut out carbs 100%. That would only leave you with fats, protein, and alcohol. If you have cancer, are at risk for or recovering from cancer, a diet which restricts the amount of processed carbohydrates you consume would be one to consider.

We recommend a healthy diet contain no more than 10% of your total calories coming from sugar or refined carbs, as these foods are typically empty calories. An example: soda pop has sugar and empty calories vs. a piece of fruit which has sugar, complex carbohydrates, nutrients, and phytochemicals. When the body takes in these foods, the whole body will utilize these sources of nutrients as well as the cancer. So reducing sugar to 10% of the calories you consume can be beneficial because you will introduce more nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that can reduce the risk of cancer as well other diseases including heart disease and complications from obesity.

Several ways to help you regulate blood-sugar levels:

1.            Eat an optimal whole foods diet with no more than 10% of calories from sugar sources.

2.            Take top quality nutritional supplements with a broad spectrum of anti-infective, immune-supportive phytonutrients, these also help with proper digestion and absorbtion of essential minerals and nutrients.

3.            Get daily exercise and sunlight.

4.            Maintain control over your weight or commit to gradual weight loss (if overweight).

5.            Choose a stress reduction method you will stick with, walking, swimming, stretching, yoga, massage etc.


Professional nutritional guidance is crucial for cancer victims’ recovery and also to lessen your risk of developing cancer in the first place. The goal of good nutrition therapy is not to eliminate all carbohydrates from the diet but eliminate all refined carbohydrates, and thus, control blood sugar within a narrow range to help starve the cancer and also bolster immune function.



Sources of Refined Carbohydrates:

Refined carbs are considered unhealthy carbohydrates. These complex carbs have had the fiber stripped away so they act as simple carbohydrates do in the body; they are digested rapidly, which causes a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. They are essentially empty calories, and according to the University of Tennessee, refined carbs may even lead to the development of diabetes.


Table sugar and syrup other than natural maple syrup are refined carbs. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are commonly added to many packaged foods, which causes them to become sources of refined carbs when they otherwise would not be. Natural maple syrup and honey are not refined carbs, but they are simple carbohydrates, and therefore, have an effect similar to refined carbs upon blood glucose.


Any beverage that contains sugar or refined syrup is a refined carb food. This includes sweetened fruit juice, beer, wine, soft drinks and sweet tea. Although 100 percent fruit juice does not have refined carbs, it does contain a high amount of carbs per serving size, which is why whole foods are preferred over their juices.

Fruits and Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of good carbs, however, when canned or frozen, sugar is often added which turns them into bad carbs. Examples of refined carbs in fruits and vegetables include canned fruit pie filling, applesauce with added sugar, frozen fruit with sugar added and sweetened canned fruit. Some canned or frozen vegetable blends may have sugar included along with other seasonings.


White flour is a refined carb, and anything made from white flour should be limited in your diet. This includes bagels, bread, muffins and most packaged cereals. White flour combined with sugar adds even more refined carbs to foods like cookies, cakes, cupcakes and donuts. To be certain grain based foods are not made from refined grains, look for the words "whole wheat" or "whole grain" on the label. According to the University of California, foods with these words on the label are probably made from refined grains: "wheat flour," "stoned wheat," "cracked wheat," "100% wheat," and "multi-grain." Other refined carbs in this category include white rice and pasta.


Snacks are commonly high in refined carbs since they contain white flour or sugar. This includes sweets like pie, candy, candy bars, fudge and jelly. Other snacks high in refined carbs include pretzels and potato chips.

 Livestrong article refined-carbs


No Carb Ideas:

Refined carbohydrates lack fiber and nutrients. They are unhealthy because your body processes them like sugar, causing your blood sugar levels to spike. Refined carbohydrates can be completely eliminated from your diet for optimal health. However, unrefined, complex carbohydrates are important to include in your diet, according to the American Dietetic Association. They supply essential fiber that helps your body eliminate excess fats and toxins, thus helping to prevent hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.


A simple no-carb breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and a side of vegetable (tomato, avacado etc) or omelette filled with vegetables is easy to prepare. All you have to do is put a couple of eggs in water, cover and turn the burner to medium or medium-high and boil the water for about 10 minutes.


For a fresh lunch with ample nutrients, eat a filling salad with a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and sprouts. People tend to use iceberg lettuce in salads; however, this variety offers few vitamins and minerals. Instead, make a salad with romaine, green leaf lettuce, raw collard greens or dandelion leaves, which offer plenty of iron, vitamin C and other nutrients. Pile on chopped carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, black olives and red peppers. Add seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, along with walnuts and hempseeds, which contain omega-3 oils and vitamin E. The Dr. Oz Show recommends eating omega-3 fatty acids for optimal health and prevention of degenerative diseases.


You can have a hearty meal with a variety of foods without refined carbohydrates. Protein (meat, chicken or fish), vegetables and a small side of unprocessed whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa. If you long for pasta, try a grain-free option by using spaghetti squash. Cut the squash in half, cover it and bake it until soft. Scoop out the inner part of the squash, which naturally breaks apart into spaghetti-like strands. Pour tomato sauce on it, and eat it as if you were eating normal pasta. Add low-fat cheese, shrimp, or mushrooms to add more protein. Health food stores also sell vegetable-based meat balls that do not contain refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. They are usually made from mushroom, organic soy and wheat gluten, which is also called seitan.

Source:  Livestrong article no carb ideas / modified by LWC


North Adams Chiropractor | Sugar Feeds Cancer. Dr. Francine Lajoie is a North Adams Chiropractor.