Sugar has been under scrutiny for a while now, but now a National Institutes of Health funded a study, conducted by University of Texas, finding that high sugar consumption is linked to an increase in breast cancer tumor growth and spreading of cancer.
What does this mean to us?
This high sugar consumption matches up to the typical Western diet and has been directly linked to tumor growth and metastasis when compared to a non-sugar starch diet.
“We determined that it was specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system, which was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE [a fatty acid] production in breast tumors,” explained Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The authors of the study say that determining the risk factors for tumor growth and metastasis are crucial and a top public health priority (rightfully so!), and the finding of this study support the notion that moderate sugar consumption is a must.
Americans consume way beyond the amount of sugar that naturally occurs in fruit, vegetables, legumes, and grains, which already satisfy the amount of sugar we need daily. It is estimated that our intake per capita has raised to 100 pounds per year, equally about 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. Excess sugar has been linked to many ailments, diseases, and disorders, and now breast cancer is an addition to that list. Scientists are unable to determine the exact number of breast cancer cases linked to sugar consumption (while most likely the disease is caused by a number of environmental factors), it is in our power to reduce our sugar consumption and possibility of other sugar related conditions.
Ways to avoid sugar
Sugar can be found in most processed, packaged, and prepared foods in the U.S. Our best bet to avoid these foods is to check our food labels for excess and added sugar, skip fast food and reduce consumption of alcohol and canned beverages.
There are lots of ways that sugar can be listed on an ingredient, such as, sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, fruit juice, molasses, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, and corn syrup. The safest route is to incorporate as many whole foods into your diet as possible. Cook using fresh produce, raw beans and grains, meal planning to avoid having to grab packaged foods, and choosing some fruit for dessert.
We bet you will immediately feel better after cutting out excess sugar in your diet AND simultaneously lower your risk of breast cancer!