Excessive sugar consumption dramatically increases your risk of cancer

The typical Western diet, which is full of sugary foods and beverages, is linked to many health problems such as cancer tumor growth. According to a study, poor eating habits and a diet full of sugar is also linked to “breast cancer and metastasis [in] the lungs.” The study, which was published in the journal Cancer Research, was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The harmful side effects of excessive sugar consumption

For this study, researchers gave mice “amounts of sucrose that were comparable for their size to levels consumed by many in Western cultures.” Meanwhile, a control group of mice was given a starch diet without any sugar.

The results showed that the mice fed the sugar diet had increased blood sugar levels which caused accelerated tumor growth, along with metastasis. The researchers found that fructose, particularly in both high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar, was the main cause of metastasis in the lungs.

The harmful side effects of sugar are due to the increased expression of 12-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) and 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX). The researchers explained that fructose was also associated with the 12-HETE production that makes breast cancer tumors grow. Meanwhile, data suggest that dietary sugar induces 12-LOX, which increases the risk of both conditions. (Related: Cancer cells use sugar to divide; starving them of sugar can slow their progression.)

Previous studies have confirmed that sugar, especially glucose, affects energy-based metabolic pathways via ways that contribute to the development of cancer. For this study, data revealed that sugar triggers the inflammation that drives carcinogenesis.

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Lower your risk of cancer by cutting down on sugary foods

It is important to identify and avoid cancer risk factors to improve public health, especially since the current Western diet is far from nutritious. By limiting your sugar intake, you can minimize your risk of developing cancer, along with other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Sugar consumption in the country is now at more than 100 pounds per capita, per year, highlighting the need to address this alarming concern. Experts warn that one of the best ways to lower your sugar intake is by avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, which are some of the most significant contributors to the over-consumption of sugar and associated health risks.

To improve your overall well-being, reevaluate your food choices.

Avoid sugary foods and drinks that contain HFCS, such as:

  • Candy – Candy and candy bars are full of sugar and most brands add it in the form of HFCS.
  • Ice cream – This dessert is also full of HFCS, especially since it is supposed to be a sweet treat. A lot of brands sweeten their ice cream with HFCS.
  • Jam and jelly – Store-bought jams and jellies contain too much sugar, especially HFCS. When buying these food products, look for versions with simple and natural ingredients. Buy locally-made jams without HFCS at farmers markets and co-ops, or make your own healthier jams and jellies.
  • Juice – Juice is another major source of sugar in the American diet, especially among young consumers.
  • Soda – Soda has a high sugar content and it is the largest source of added sugar in the Western diet.
  • Store-bought baked goods – Cakes, cookies, and donuts from grocery stores are chock-full of HFCS.
  • Sweetened yogurt – Plain yogurt with probiotics is good for your digestion, but sweetened and artificially flavored yogurt is bad for your health.

Make healthier choices and snack on natural alternatives to sugary foods and drinks like fresh fruits or homemade smoothies. Instead of using table sugar, switch to natural sweeteners like organic honey.

To effectively lower your cancer risk, follow a healthy diet and manage your sugar intake.

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