It is hard to avoid sugar, especially if you have a sweet tooth. But just how much sugar are you actually consuming daily? Forget the obvious cakes, cookies, and sodas, sugar is also present in so many of our everyday snacks and foods. From natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, honey, and even milk to added sugars in fruit juices, cereals, processed, packaged foods, and sauces – let’s face it! Sugar is everywhere.
Who would have thought that too much sweetness could kill you?
No, it isn’t diabetes we are talking about. Before you reach for that extra spoon of sugar to sweeten your tea or coffee, read this.
The Sugar-Cancer Connection
A few years ago, the biggest health risks associated with high sugar consumption were diabetes and obesity. Recent research, however, has uncovered a more deadly killer – cancer.
In recent times, sugar has joined the ranks of tobacco and an unhealthy lifestyle as one of the leading causes of cancer.
But how exactly does sugar consumption fuel cancer?
According to a study conducted on laboratory mice by the journal Cancer Research, the high sugar intake in the Western diet may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer that could potentially spread to the lungs.
This particular study was conducted with four test groups of laboratory mice, with each group being randomized to different diet groups, each being fed one of four diets.
The findings demonstrated that the sucrose intake in mice from the test group with sucrose levels similar to Western diets led to increased tumor growths and metastasis compared to a non-sugar starch diet.
The purpose of this particular study was to investigate the impact of dietary sugar on mammary gland tumor development, along with the mechanisms that may be involved.
The study has revealed that not all sugars are quite as dangerous. It was fructose, a major component of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, that was responsible for facilitating lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.
30 percent of the test mice on a starch-controlled diet were discovered, at six months of age, to have measurable tumors. On the other hand, 50 to 58 percent of the mice on sucrose-enriched diets developed mammary tumors at the same age.
Another concerning factor revealed in the study was that the number of lung metastases were significantly higher in the test group on a sucrose or a fructose-enriched diet versus the test group on a starch-controlled diet.
While the connection between sugar and a life-threatening illness can be scary, there still hasn’t been substantial proof to completely cut it out of your diet.
While it may be hard to give up a sweet cup of tea in the morning, there are several other ways we can minimize the intake of sugar in our diet. Read on for a few tips on reducing everyday sugar consumption.
To Reduce Sugar Consumption
- Replace white rice/bread/flour, etc. with brown or whole grain options.
- Don’t go for packaged fruit juices. Instead, opt for freshly made juices and allow the natural sweetness of the fruit to satisfy your sweet cravings.
- Cut back on packaged and processed foods.
- Cut back on sodas, cakes, cookies, pastries, and other bakery goods.
- Replace milk chocolates with dark chocolates.
- When consuming alcohol, opt to mix your drink with water or plain soda. Cocktails are often high in sugar content.
Now that you know how sugar and cancer are interlinked, we hope you will think twice before you reach out for that sugar.
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