Americans love sugar! Most adults get their sugar fix in the form of soft drinks, sweets, sweetened grains, milk or milk products, and fruit-ades. While some foods are almost exclusively sugar, others contain hidden sweeteners that make it hard to know how much sugar you are eating. Along with escalating sugar intake comes a growing concern about if or how sugar impacts cancer.
All cells use sugar. Cancer cells have ten times more insulin receptors on their cellular surface, so eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs provides a greater opportunity for cancer cells to thrive. Cancer patients who have the highest blood sugar levels experience more complications and have the lowest survival rates. While sugar doesn’t directly cause cancer, eating too much sugar delivers massive calories which causes weight gain, higher circulating levels of IGF-1 and a depressed immune system.
The first step to stop eating sugar is to understand where it comes from. Once you are aware of the hidden sources of refined carbs and sugars, you can begin to slowly reduce your intake.
Take this quick survey to determine whether you are eating too many refined carbohydrates:
(Circle Yes or No)
Do you eat white rice more often than brown rice? Yes No
Do you snack on fruit alone? Yes No
Do you eat jelly or jam? Yes No
Do you eat dried fruit? Yes No
Are you on a juicing regimen? Yes No
Do you eat low fat baked goods? Yes No
Do you use prepackaged mixes more often than you make foods
from scratch? Yes No
Do you like cereals that could be classified as kids’ cereal? Yes No
Do you eat canned fruit? Yes No
Do you drink regular soft drinks? Yes No
Do you drink flavored beverages like flavored waters or teas? Yes No
Do you eat candy as a snack or pick-me-up? Yes No
Do you eat dessert often? Yes No
Do you add some kind of sweetener to food or drink? Yes No
Do you think that baked goods using natural sweeteners
are healthy for you? Yes No
Total: Yes No ___
These questions were designed to provide a starting point for reducing excessive or hidden sugars in your diet. YES answers to the first two questions point out eating habits that cause a fast release of sugar into the bloodstream. The next several questions reveal concentrated sugar food choices, indicate hidden sugars lurking in your foods that you might not be aware of and point to overt surplus dietary sugar intake. When you say YES to these foods, it should not surprise you that you’re eating way too much sugar!