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Is it true that sugar can increase cancer risk? Here’s the Explanation

You may have heard information that sugar can cause cancer or make cancer cells grow faster. Although every cell of the body needs glucose to form energy, does sugar consumption trigger cancer?

Is it true that sugar can increase cancer risk?  Here's the Explanation

The Link between Sweet Foods and Cancer

Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal cell growth that can divide uncontrollably, and has the ability to destroy normal body tissues.

There are more than 100 types of cancer that can affect all organs of the body, including: breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma.

Sugar itself can be present in various forms and can be found in various types of food.

Glucose is a form of sugar which is the main fuel needed by every cell of the body. When you consume foods or drinks that taste sweet, such as cakes or packaged fruit juices, glucose will enter the blood and can be directly used by cells to make energy.

However, when you consume foods that consist of complex carbohydrates such as pasta and rice, the body will convert them into glucose. If there are no carbohydrates in the diet, the cells will convert fat and protein into glucose. Therefore, sugar is always present in the body.

Also Read: Don’t be careless, these are 7 dangers of excessive consumption of sweet foods

However, sugar is not a carcinogenic substance—that means it doesn’t cause cancer. However, excessive consumption of sugar, especially added sugar in highly processed foods and drinks can contribute to obesity, a condition that increases the risk of cancer.

In the end, consuming more sweet foods will not trigger cancer and will not make cancer cells grow faster. Conversely, reducing sugar intake does not make cancer cells grow more slowly.

Sugar is not a factor in causing cancer or spreading malignant tumors. However, several studies suggest that cancer cells consume more sugar than normal cells.

Please note, not all carbohydrate foods are sugars, but all sugars are carbohydrates. Therefore, undergo a diet that is low in carbohydrates can be detrimental to your health in the long run. This diet tends to avoid foods that are sources of fat and vitamins.

Also Read: 10 Safe Sugar Substitute Sweeteners for Diabetics

Limiting Sugar Consumption is Important

Even though there is no real evidence that sugar consumption can cause cancer, you are still advised to reduce sugar consumption.

Excessive sugar consumption can cause an increase in blood sugar and hyperinsulinemia (overproduction of insulin). This will trigger an inflammatory response in the body and increase the risk of cancer.

American Heart Association advises women to limit sugar consumption to no more than 25 grams per day, while men need to limit sugar consumption to no more than 36 grams per day.

The easiest way to reduce sugar consumption is to stop consuming sweet foods and drinks.

Also Read: Be aware of hidden sugars, sweeteners that can trigger diabetes

Some cereals, ready meals, pasta sauces and yoghurts have high amounts of sugar. Therefore, you are advised to always read the nutritional information on each package. This step can help reduce unnecessary sugar consumption.

Even so, you don’t need to avoid sugar completely. Eat all foods in moderation, but it’s best to keep sugar consumption to a minimum.

Focus on consuming foods that contain complex carbohydrates and fiber. This step can reduce the risk of cancer and provide nutrients for a healthier body.

  1. Anonymous. Does Sugar Cause Cancer? (Accessed 13 February 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2022. Cancer. (Accessed 13 February 2023).
  3. Espat, Adelina. 2015. Does Sugar Cause Cancer? (Accessed 13 February 2023).
  4. Smith, Emma. 2020. Sugar And Cancer – What You Need To Know. (Accessed 13 February 2023).
  5. TI, See Hui. 2020. Does Sugar Cause Cancer? What’s the Link?. (Accessed 13 February 2023).

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