Often, I have heard that processed sugars are really bad for your health and several of my good friends have gone on a complete sugar fast, which they claim has improved their health greatly. Recently I heard that sugar might be the leading cause for cancer. With recently receiving news of my Mom being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma, and knowing my Mom has a sweet tooth, I decided to do some digging to uncover on whether the intake of sugar may be killing us, or do we need sugar in our diets?
According to The University of Texas MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center, sugar feeds every cell in our body — even cancer cells. But, research shows that eating sugar doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer. It’s what sugar does to your waistline that can lead to cancer. I thought about this statement and I was not convinced since my Mom has always been lean. Sugar and fats might lead to obesity, but have known more people in shape than overweight people getting cancer. Usually I hear of high blood pressure and heart attacks come from obesity.
Taking in too many sugar calories may result in weight gain. And, being overweight or obese may put you at a higher risk for cancer and other diseases. So, does this mean we should avoid sugar? Experts say no.
“Your body’s cells use sugar to keep your vital organs functioning,” says Clare McKindley, clinical dietitian at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center. “But too much daily sugar can cause weight gain. And, unhealthy weight gain and a lack of exercise can increase your cancer risks.”
According to the website “treating-cancer-alternatively.com”, Cancer and diabetes have been traced to the excessive use of sugar, as so has poliomyelitis, and inflammation of the grey matter of the spinal cord, which causes painful crippling of the body.
When the human body is overloaded with sugar and sugar mixtures, both in solid and in liquid form, nutritional deficiencies causes the vitality of the body cells to be afflicted and the may cause swellings and mucous discharges.
So with all of this being said, is all sugar the same? Nutritionists and scientists, treat all sugar the same way. They say Sugar is sugar. However we need to re-evaluate that belief and discover the differences. Natural sugar in organic food has an enzymatic effect in nutritional well being. Chemically processed sugars cause nutritional deficiencies.
The natural sugar found in fresh organic foods is different than the chemically processed sugar used in food production.
The natural organic sugar found in fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as the sugar from raw sugar cane and sap from different trees can easily be digested by our immune system and is necessary.
There is a major difference between organic raw sugar and chemically processed sugar used in manufacturing of packaged foods. Processed sugar causes nutritional deficiencies in our immune system.
How does processed sugar cause nutritional deficiencies in our immune system? Processed sugar depletes the body of valuable B vitamins. Also depletes the body of necessary minerals such as calcium, magnesium, etc. Excesses in processed sugar lead to sugar diabetes, one of the top fatal diseases in the United States. Processed sugar causes weight gain and stress on the whole system, especially the heart.
Sugar puts stress on the immune system, which was shown in Animal studies where such stress results in a decrease in white blood cells, which prevent bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections, and cancer.
Our immune system’s most important fighters are white blood cells, which prevent us from getting cancer. We all have cancerous cells developing in our bodies, however a healthy immune system with macrophages and natural killer cells — keeps cancer in check. Much like Pac-Man against the video game ghosts. However in today’s toxic world, this is no fun and games. We are exposed to many cancer-producing agents from the outside, which weaken our white blood cells from the inside.
One 12-ounce can of regular pop can reduce the ability of white blood cells to eat bacteria by 40 percent for up to six hours. That means that if you drink pop and eat other sugars, your body’s defenses will be down. If someone sneezes around you, or you rub your eyes or mouth with your hands, you’re highly susceptible to contract the bacteria or virus. Similarly, cancer can start to grow when white blood cells are being suppressed with sugar, other dietary factors, stress, etc.
Sugar depletes the body of valuable B vitamins. 27 B vitamins are essential for many bodily functions, which are too many to list here. Vitamin B deficiency can cause many problems, including, neurological disease, fatigue, pernicious anemia (red blood cells affected), blood sugar problems, congestive heart failure, allergies, memory loss, depression and skin and tongue problems.
Whenever sugars are stripped, the manufacturers call it “refining” to make them white. They are then taking away what nature gave sugar to be a balanced food.
So do we avoid all sugars due to these immune system danger? As mentioned earlier our bodies need sugar too to keep your vital organs functioning. So we should eat the right amount of sugar, however how much sugar is safe to eat? Women should have no more than six teaspoons per day (25 grams), and men should have no more than nine teaspoons per day (37 grams), says the American Heart Association. This equals to about 100 calories for women and 150 for men.
If you’re like most Americans, you actually eat more than double that much sugar in a day, which is about 22 teaspoons. That’s 260 cups or 130 pounds of sugar each year. All that extra sugar breaks down to about 500 calories per day. That equates to hundreds of calories with absolutely no nutritional or cancer-fighting benefit.
And, it’s not just sweets that are loaded with sugar. Pasta sauce, salad dressings and canned vegetables also have hidden sugars. Canned and processed foods are some of the biggest offenders.
So we need to spot hidden sugars in food. This is why it’s so important to read food labels and look for hidden sugars. Your first clue that a product is high in sugar is if the word “sugar” is listed as the first ingredient. However some sugary foods don’t include “sugar” on the ingredient list. That is because sugar is often disguised under different names. Here is a list of some hidden “sugar” words to look out for! Fructose (natural sugar from fruits), lactose (natural sugar from milk), sucrose (made from fructose and glucose), maltose (sugar made from grain), glucose (simple sugar, product of photosynthesis), and dextrose (form of glucose).
Look and shop for natural sugars. Natural sugars, include molasses, agave nectar, honey and maple syrup, which are packed with antioxidants that protect your body from cancer. Even though these sweet options are natural, they still have about the same amount of calories as regular sugar. So, it’s important to stick to the recommended daily serving for sugar.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. Do you use artificial sweeteners over sugar? Some studies done with laboratory animals have found links between artificial sweeteners and cancer. However, no proof exists that says artificial sweeteners definitely cause cancer. So, until more is known about artificial sweeteners, your best bet is to avoid or limit artificial sweeteners. Rein in your sweet tooth, when is comes to processed sugar. When eaten in small amounts, sugar can fit into a balanced diet. And, if you have a sweet tooth, it is better to get your sugar fix from naturally sweet fruits than with processed foods. That way, you’ll satisfy your craving and get more of the nutrients your body needs to fight off several diseases and cancer.
Thank you for reading!
Neil Saint Angeland