What are your views about sugar for cancer patients? Does it *feed* tumors? Should I avoid it in any form?
First of all, I have a pretty simple approach to this controversial topic. Upon finishing chemotherapy in 1995, I made the decision that I wanted everything going in my mouth to contain biochemical molecules that help with the cancer fighting process in my body. It is controversial whether sugar causes or promotes cancer, however I have never seen one shred of data that indicates sugar prevents cancer.
So since sugar-laden foods (most processed dessert and bakery type items, candy, ice cream, many fruit juices to name a few examples) clearly take the place of calories from foods which have components with multiple anti-cancer activities, I do not want sugar-containing foods filling me up.
Whole fruits have many cancer-fighting phytochemicals, so I would not recommend limiting them. However, I will make the point again that most fruit juices that are on the market today are mostly apple or pear juice which have few of these important phytochemicals. When I drink juice, it is orange juice (great source of vitamin C and folic acid), pink grapefruit juice (good source of lycopene) or vegetable juices like carrot juice (abundant source of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, tomato juice (very good source of lycopene and vitamin C), or mixed vegetable juice (very good source of phytochemicals too numerous to name or count). I also drink lots of unsweetened iced green tea and water.
After changing my diet to contain foods that I mention on this web site and in my book, I completely lost my taste for *needing* desserts or other sweet items. I do occasionally have a cookie or something like that, but I never eat the whole box any more!
Hope this is helpful perspective. Best wishes to you for good health!
faq posted 8/00, updated 2/06
These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.
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