Does Sugar Really Feed Cancer?


I recently found out that yet another friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer.  So listen — in terms of cancer and healing, sugar can be your Achille’s tendon and cancer’s best friend- not exactly an ideal situation. And even if you have never personally had cancer, I bet you can name at least 2 friends or family members that have…so this information can be useful — either for preventative measures or as knowledge to share.

So here’s the kicker: cancer cells have 20x more insulin sensitive receptors than normal cells…

When you eat sugar or refined flours, your blood sugar levels spike, which in turn signals the pancreas to release insulin. The insulin acts as a chauffeur and transports the glucose (sugar from the blood) into your cells. Now, remember, cancer cells have 20x more insulin sensitive receptors than normal cells; so when glucose is transported into the cells, you can pretty much bet on cancer cells grabbing the first bite and most of the meal.

Yes, all food we eat is broken down into glucose units, but eating sugar and refined flours just makes it super easy for cancer cells to fuel up, since it is readily available in the bloodstream. Plus, there is no nutrition in refined sugars – so sugar creates inflammation in the body, lowers immunity, contributes to lethargy, depletes nutrients, and so on.

 But it doesn’t end there.  As said before, all cells use glucose for energy and growth.  However, how that glucose is used and its end result is different in cancer cells than normal cells.  Normal cells typically use oxygen to help metabolize glucose.  Cancer cells snub their nose at oxygen, preferring to use fermentation of sugar (glucose) as an alternative source of energy, in order to function without oxygen.  This process produces a large amount of lactic acid which results in a lower pH – a more acidic environment in cancerous tissues – another less than ideal situation, since disease thrives in acidic conditions.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop eating all forms of sugar.  A diet low in refined flours and sugars, and high in vegetables – especially green leafy ones; daily exercise; and stress reduction will all contribute to more stable blood sugar levels.  Without excess sugar circulating through the blood you can prevent high surges of insulin (which provide more fuel to cancer cells) and excess lactic acid (which contributes to an acidic environment that is ideal for cancer).

I know we’d like to think sugar is our friend – it soothes us when we’re stressed out, gives us an energy boost when we’re tired, and produces that euphoric feeling we all love and crave…but these are only short term pleasures that are just as quickly replaced by longer term health consequences. Take time to really lsten to your body. It may be time to do a serious clean up of your diet.  But do it because it feels right and because you want to! And then, know, that if you or a loved one is going through cancer, that at certain times a cool creamy icecream may be just the perfect medicine for the moment.




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