Sugar and the Heart Disease – Cancer Connection
Cancer and heart disease are two of the most deadly diseases in today’s world. It is estimated that over a million and a half people will get cancer this year, and over a half million people will die from cancer. Heart disease will also kill slightly more than half a million. These numbers are high, but there is one step that you can take to reduce your risk of these diseases: stop consuming sugar, especially fructose. For those with a sweet tooth, this may be bad news, but, if you look at it the right way, this is actually good news. This information gives you the power to reduce the risk of both heart disease and cancer.
It should come as no surprise that sugar is harmful to your health. The health problems that come along with excessive sugar consumption include diabetes and obesity. The fluctuations in blood sugar can also be incredibly harmful, and can eventually lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has been linked to many harmful diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
For many just eliminating soda from the diet can offer help. Sure, soda is delicious, satisfying, and relatively inexpensive, but it is also jam packed with chemicals and sugar. A study showed that women who drink soda are at a greater risk for endometrial cancer. In this study, soda, and other drinks high in sugar, boosted the risk of cancer by 78 percent, and the risk was greater for those that drank more soda. The problem with soda is that it gives the body an absurd amount of sugar in a compact and easy to drink form. Cutting soda out of the diet is the perfect place to start when trying to tackle a sugar problem.
One of the major problems is that many people don’t realize that what they’re eating is turned into sugar once it enters the body, and this is shocking to many people. Foods, like bagels, pancakes, or French toast, are all converted into sugar, and unknowingly to the consumer can exacerbate a sugar problem. Cereal can also be a problem, because they tend to contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is linked to heart disease more so than cancer, and it doesn’t take long for high fructose corn syrup to affect the body. In fact, the negative effects of high fructose corn syrup can be noticed in as little as two weeks.
So What Can You Do?
If you’re just now realizing that you may have a problem with sugar intake, you’re not alone. There are so many people in the United States that need to fix the amount of sugar that they consume. If you feel that you’ve increased your risk of heart disease and cancer through sugar, you should rectify your diet and then get plenty of regular exercise.
So, first of all, reduce the amount of grains, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and processed foods that you eat. Replace these with healthy fats. For so long fat was believed to be bad for the body, but healthy fats, like those from nuts and fish, are very beneficial for overall health and should make up a large part of the diet. Next, make sure that the body is given protein from healthy sources. Nuts, chicken, and protein shakes are a great way to get quality protein into the diet. It is also essential to get as many vegetables as possible. These foods will help to get blood sugar levels back to normal and combat insulin resistance.
Exercise is also crucial. Exercise and physical activity are obviously a great way to promote cardiovascular health, but it is also helpful for reducing the risk and recovering from cancer. Modern medicine has lead many people to believe that they need expensive prescription drugs, but this isn’t necessarily true. Recent research has actually shown that exercise combined with a healthy diet works just as well as prescription drugs, and by going the diet-and-exercise route the body won’t be at risk for the negative side effects of prescription medication. Exercise helps the body by making it become sensitive to insulin, which is essential to fighting insulin resistance.
How Does Sugar Actually Increase the Risk of Cancer?
The link between sugar and heart disease is relatively easy to understand, but people often times have trouble understanding how it affects cancer. Sugar leads to obesity, which leads to heart disease, so sugar has a visible affect that you can link to heart disease. This isn’t really true for sugar and cancer. Sugar is actually used by cancer cells as fuel. As cancer cells process glucose they create lactic acid. During this, lactic acid builds up within the body, and can create an acidic environment. This can increase the feelings of fatigue, because it hinders the body’s ability to create energy. The lactic acid caused by the combination of glucose and cancer doesn’t allow the body to get all the energy out the food that it is provided. It can also have a negative effect on white blood cells. While the body battles cancer, it depends on white blood cells to fight the cancer cells. The sugars from carbohydrates reduce the ability to the white blood cells to destroy the cancer cells, and this leaves the body more susceptible to the effects of cancer. You can learn a lot about the dangers of sugar by watching Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
Fructose is one of the most damaging forms of sugar, because it promotes insulin resistance by boosting uric acid levels. For those that already have high uric acid levels, consuming fructose can be especially dangerous, because they are already at an elevated risk for heart disease and cancer. A study, which focused on pancreatic cancer, found that fructose doesn’t just fuel cancer, but it also speeds up the rate at which cancer cells multiply and spread.
It can be really surprising how damaging sugar is on the body. Most people don’t realize how much sugar they actually consume and how harmful it can be on the body. If you eat too much sugar you are at an elevated risk for cancer and heart disease, and you should consider immediately fixing your diet and getting plenty of exercise.