Cancer Loves Carbs
Cookies, cakes, donuts, pizza, pasta, muffins. . .
…these are the foods of choice for holidays, celebrations, hearty breakfasts, and gifts. Our food culture loves carb-filled foods so much, they’re everywhere and anywhere we go. And it’s not just special treats on special days. We load up on carbs at every meal — potatoes, breakfast cereal, and of course plain old white bread, too. Meanwhile it seems like soda has totally replaced drinking water in some people’s lives.
Most of us consume these foods far too often and in too large a quantity. Packed with refined carbohydrates, they affect the body more than you know. One way is by fueling cancer cells.
How to know if you’ve been affected and what you must do now to get relief…
If you’re between the ages of 58 and 92, new research shows you may have been contaminated with a dangerous toxin.
In high enough concentrations, this toxin can be deadly. But even in minute doses it can cause health problems like fatigue, joint pain, memory loss, and more.
So if you suffer from these problems, this may be why.
We already know that carbs are fattening. That’s why the Atkins diet was such a hit in the last decade. But carbs can do a lot more damage than add pounds. Simple carbs — i.e. empty carbs like white flour, high fructose corn syrup, and white sugar — are quickly metabolized into simple sugars in the body.
These refined sugars get digested fast and end up throwing off the body’s normal functions. Excessive consumption is associated with:
1. Obesity and weight gain
2. Suppressed immunity
3. Poor digestion
4. Heart disease
5. Type II diabetes
6. Gall stones and kidney stones
8. Migraine headaches
9. Cancer (I’ll explain how in a minute)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for eating what may be some of your favorite foods. But on the upside, a diet low in refined foods can profoundly enhance your health and lower your risk of the health problems mentioned.
I speak from personal experience. When I cut out all sugar and most wheat products, I lost all the weight I ever wanted to lose, had more energy and largely got rid of my sinus allergies. It was hard to give up all those treats, but it was worth it. Being sick is no fun.
The link between diabetes and cancer
About 23.6 million Americans have diabetes. Most of them have Type II diabetes, which is caused by diet rather than genetics. It’s a self-inflicted disease. Millions more are regularly treated for high blood sugar (basically a pre-diabetic diagnosis). That means several million Americans have abnormal levels of insulin, mostly due to a high intake of sugar and refined carbs.
Insulin plays a major role in the connection between cancer and sugar. A report by the UK’s Daily Mail confirms that increased insulin levels, triggered by high carbohydrate consumption, could be what leads to most of our worst health problems.
Experts from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society agree there is a direct link between diabetes and cancer. They say diabetics are twice as likely to get cancer of the liver, pancreas, or uterine lining, and they’re 20 to 50 percent more at risk for breast, colon, and bladder cancer.
A study showed two significant reasons for the link. In lab tests, insulin acted as a beneficial environment for the growth of cancer cells. And, because many diabetics are overweight, they are faced with another cancer risk: fat. Lab studies showed that cancers in overfed and overweight animals were more aggressive than cancers in animals with a healthy weight.
So, we know that sugar causes an imbalance of insulin and weight gain, and both of these factors help cancer cells flourish. We also know that sugar weakens immunity, so it’s harder for the body to fight off cancer cells when they appear.
As Dr. Al Sears, a specialist in integrative medicine puts it, “Sugar feeds cancer cells and makes them grow like wildfire.”
Several other research findings back up the link between empty carbs and cancer:
a) A 2004 cancer study conducted on women in Mexico showed those who consumed refined carbohydrates as more than 57% of their diet had a 220% higher risk of breast cancer. That study attributed the increased levels to insulin, because breast cancer tumors are supported by high levels of insulin. (Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention 2004)
b) A Harvard study showed that middle aged men with diets rich in high glycemic foods were 32% more likely to develop colon or rectal cancer. (Science 2003)
c) A study on Italian men showed those with diets high in refined carbohydrates were 57% more likely to develop prostate cancer. (Annals of Oncology 2004)
d) Non-diabetic women in the highest 25 percentiles (that is, the top one-fourth) of blood sugar levels had a 26% greater chance of getting cancer than women in the bottom 25th percentile. (Umea University 2009)
Resist the urge to feed your cravings
You know the craving you get for a Twix bar or Doritos? If you feed the urge, you enjoy a moment of satisfaction and energy, but you soon trade that energy for sluggishness.
It’s a cycle we go through all too often. It’s easy enough to say cutting processed foods and sugars is simple, but avoiding these easily accessible foods is hard to do. So hard, in fact, that many people unknowingly have sugar addictions as bad as drug addictions.
Because your body quickly breaks down and absorbs simple carbs, they rapidly spike blood glucose levels (blood sugar levels). Glucose is the sugar your body makes when it breaks down starches, and it’s your body’s primary source of energy. That’s why you get a sudden burst of energy or “sugar high” when you eat these foods.
Your body tries hard to keep sugar levels balanced. So when it detects the rapid jump in sugar levels, it reacts by releasing extra insulin. Frequent jolts of sugar overwork your system for insulin production. Over time, the body can’t keep up with the exhaustive demands of insulin, and blood sugar levels can’t rebalance. The insulin abnormality is what has caused epic numbers of cases of Type II diabetes and insulin resistance.
The results are in, but some diehards disagree
The medical community seems to agree that diabetics are at greater risk of cancer and should practice a healthy diet for cancer prevention. But what do they recommend for non-diabetics?
I’ve seen some reports where “mainstream” doctors completely deny the connection between cancer and a diet high in sugars and carbs — at least for non-diabetics. Their claim is that the body maintains a constant level of blood glucose regardless of what you eat.
Pure nonsense, if you ask me. Diabetes and prediabetes are breakdowns in this very function: the body’s ability to maintain a constant level of blood glucose. The breakdown is caused by overconsumption of sugar and other refined carbs.
With all the research that links sugar to diabetes, diabetes to cancer, and sugar to cancer, it’s hard for me to grasp how these doctors can say diet doesn’t matter. They’ve failed to take on board the fact that many cancer patients are diabetic, and those cancer patients who aren’t diabetic are likely to at least have high blood sugar.
High blood sugar doesn’t just “appear.” Several studies have confirmed that high consumption of sugars and empty carbs contributes to irregular sugar levels.
The irony is the same doctors who reject the link between sugar consumption and cancer acknowledge that cancer cells absorb and metabolize sugar. They’re trying to find drugs to interfere with the way cancer cells feed on sugar, but they hold firm that the blood level of glucose has nothing to do with it.
There are many medical doctors who are ready to die in the last ditch, defending the idea that poor nutrition doesn’t cause disease. I know of people who, having just received a cancer diagnosis, ask their doctors if they should change what they eat — and their doctors tell them, “Oh, no, eat whatever you want. Diet has no connection to cancer.”
Good carbs versus bad carbs
The best way to handle carbs is to weed out the ones that lack any kind of nutrition. But what about complex carbohydrates? Carbs are still an important source of energy, so the trick is knowing which carbs to eat and which ones to avoid (or at least drastically limit).
The Glycemic Index (GI) is considered the best resource for figuring out which foods raise blood sugar too quickly. The index rates all foods on a scale from low to high. In theory, low GI foods are digested more slowly and have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. High GI foods are the enemies — those that rapidly propel blood sugar levels.
Most of the time, low GI foods are easy to pinpoint: They are unaltered natural foods full of fiber. Beans, vegetables, and whole grains are an easy win. High glycemic foods include things like sodas, potatoes, candy, desserts, and most cereals.
Actually, I’m obliged to point out this GI theory is controversial. I’ve recently seen challenges to the idea that, say, brown rice doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar when compared to white rice, a refined product. They both do, according to some research. A carb is a carb is a carb. With the brown rice, you’re getting more fiber and other nutrients than you’ll get by eating white rice, but you won’t be helping your blood sugar.
It’s possible to eat too much of even healthy carbohydrates, like brown rice and fresh fruit (which contains a lot of fructose or fruit sugar). I don’t want to wade too far into this and I definitely don’t want to confuse you. If you switch from sugar and pastry desserts to fresh fruit, you’re making a huge improvement in your life. If you switch from white rice to brown rice you’re making an improvement. These are big steps in the right direction, so let’s not allow the no-carbs-at-all purists to confuse things.
But when it comes to wheat, whole grain products aren’t much improvement over white flour products. There are so many problems with wheat it’s best to avoid it completely.
One of the best things you can do for your health is straighten up your diet. It may not be easy, but in the end you’ll have more energy and an extremely grateful body.