Sugar and Cancer: Best Friends?

Does sugar feed cancer cells, causing cancer cells to grow and spread faster? This is common question everybody has. While researchers continue to investigate the relationship between sugar and cancer, the statement still remains under speculation. Sugar feeds all cells in the body, which include cancer cells, however, it doesn’t mean that sugar leads to cancer, likewise, doesn’t mean that being deprived from sugar slows the growth of cancer (1). The truth is consuming large amounts of sugar can harm your body and put you at higher risk for certain cancers and other health conditions.

Sugar is necessary in your diet. Without sugar, your body’s vital organs would cease to function properly (2). Too much daily sugar, however, can cause unhealthy weight gain, which leads to an increased risk for cancer and other serious health conditions. It is also important to be cautious of hidden sugars, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

One of the main reasons why sugar has a bad reputation is due to the lack of its nutritional value. Sugar does have a place in your diet. According to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day, and women should have no more than 6 teaspoons per day (3). However, an average American consumes double the amount of the recommended serving per day, which can have a great impact on your health.

Naturally occurring sugars found in food such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, breads, and lactose, come from sources that benefit your diet. Added sugars coming from processed food are shown to harm your health (4).

Sugar can fit into a balanced diet by sticking to the daily recommended amount of sugar, and when eaten in small amounts. Enjoy foods and drinks with added sugar in moderation. Try receiving sugar from natural sources as best as you can. Doing so will provide your body with more vitamins and nutrients needed to help fight off diseases like cancer!