Bridget Miles I Chief Executive Mama, mamamilesfiles.com
Hi, my name is Bridget, and I’m a sugar-a-holic. I could eat sweets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing can get between me and a jar of Nutella. I should have diabetes (well… actually I did while I was pregnant, but I digress). I should seriously consider working out – but the urge to satiate my sweet tooth far exceeds any magnetism sent my way by the stairmaster.
Can you relate? Are we sweet soul sisters? Would you like to take a swim in and simultaneously consume a giant pool of chocolate pudding? Like me, do you desperately need a wake up call to help you get into that dress you bought two years ago in hopes you’d have given up eating any cupcake you can get your hands on by now?
Well, I’m about to do us all a favor because there’s some seriously bad news for those of us who stand open-mouthed under a grocery store bubble gum dispenser: recent studies indicate sugar can cause, and hasten the effects of cancer.
While some sugars are considered vital nutrients the body uses to generate energy (such as glucose), a study has pinpointed that fructose affects the metabolic process (or pathway) called 12-LOX, which helps cells metastasize.
Here’s the abridged version of what the study found: sucrose (table sugar) is composed of two sugars: glucose and fructose. The research team tested two different diets on mice to see if one sugar over the other made a difference in the body since each are processed differently. Fructose is processed more by the liver, and glucose by the pancreas and other organs.
The mice were given amounts of sugar based on ratios relating to the status of current American ingestion. When the mice got more fructose, they grew larger tumors at a faster rate of speed.
While most information regarding cancer and sugar points to there being a correlation between post-cancer sugar in diets and repeat cancers, it begs the question: could sugar lead to cancer in those of us currently living without cancer as well?
The World Health Organization seems to think so, having released a statement that people should get no more than five percent of their calories from sugar.
The lowest dose the research team fed the mice was 10 percent of their daily calories in sugar. That’s about six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons a day for men. Take a look at this image for a frame of reference. The red spoon is a teaspoon:
Reality check: An average 12-ounce can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar. Is there no God?
Another sad note – carbs are sugar too. Carbohydrates are processed as sugar and are stored as fat in excess if your body is unable to produce enough insulin to process it or if you have a thyroid condition causing your body to run off protein.
While the study indicates sugar can seriously impede our body’s ability to fight cancer, it doesn’t mean all of us sugar lovers will get cancer. It also doesn’t mean people with or in remission from cancer will later die of cancer if they consume sugar on the regular. It means we need to be mindful of what we’re putting in our bodies.
Eat everything in moderation. If moderation for you means eating an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting, remind yourself you should really only be getting five percent of your daily calories from sugar.
You only get one body and one chance at life. Wouldn’t you rather save for an epic trip to Italy, not for a medical emergency? Treat your body right, eat your spinach (and sugar in moderation). You’ll feel better, and you won’t miss sugar (that much) after a few weeks with your new lifestyle change. Nothing wrong with living out that YOLO spirit on the healthy side.