Ok so sugar may be addictive, but what about its connection to cancer?
Over the past few years we’ve been reading statements like:
- Sugar molecules called O-glycans are found in large quantities in most cancers
- Sugar actively encourages and aids the growth of cancer cells
- Cancer cells have more glucose receptors than normal cells
Plus, there is also a list of chronic diseases linked to sugar:
- Heart disease
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome
- Liver disease
- Rapid aging
Sugar is NOT a health food, whether there’s a direct link to cancer or not.
Let’s take a look at what happens when you move away from the sweet stuff.
When you ditch sugar, you’re usually giving your whole diet an overhaul, which means processed foods and take-away foods are also given the flick. You start eating real food and by default you’re eating less processed foods and less of the harmful oils.
Real food looks like embracing vegetables, legumes (beans & lentils), whole grains, and fruit.
When eaten in their whole form, ALL these important food sources come with fibre. Fibre helps remove unwanted estrogen from the body, therefore reducing your risk of female cancers.
Fibre also slows down the absorption of any glucose in the digestive tract thus decreasing the sugar highs and lows and the addiction cycle.
When you’re first starting this journey, it can feel overwhelming because sugar is everywhere. But just start with one thing.
Ditch ALL the sweet drinks… period
Yes, that includes coconut water (except when you are on holidays sipping fresh coconut juice straight from the coconut!) and fruit juices. Your go-to is water, which you can flavour with lemon or lime. Plus, unsweetened tea, coffee, herbal tea. Just this one step alone will reap huge rewards on every level of your health!
Enjoy 2 pieces of fruit a day
You can have a third piece of fruit only if you’ve had your 5 servings of vegetables that day! Use dates or whole fruit, such as bananas, to sweeten your treat foods. This way you are also including all the nutrients and fibre.
What about honey?
Honey straight from the beekeepers is a wonderful product that you can use occasionally. A tablespoon in a salad dressing for the family dinner is fine, but not a teaspoon in your tea a couple of times a day.
What about all the other sweeteners?
Rice malt syrup became popular because it doesn’t contain fructose, but it still contains glucose. All sugar is one-part glucose and one-part fructose. Glucose gets taken up by cells, whereas fructose goes to the liver to be metabolized. Excess fructose in the diet can be a health issue if you have a fatty liver from excess alcohol or sugar, so I do not consider rice malt syrup a health food and should be used sparingly like maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar etc.