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Sugar the enemy

How does the consumption of sugar, inflammation, and soy affect cancer risk?



Eating a diet comprised mostly of plant-based foods may be an effective means of breast cancer prevention.

Breast cancer risk is increased by several variables. Some, such as aging or inheriting genetic abnormalities in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, are beyond our control. However, we can control or at least adjust a few risk variables, such as our nutrition.


Multiple studies have shown that a good diet reduces the incidence of not just breast cancer, but also heart disease and other health conditions. This is due in part to the relationship between diet and obesity, which is connected to inflammation.


Thirteen forms of cancer, including breast cancer, are connected with an increased risk of obesity and overweight. In fact, 18% of malignancies in the United States may be attributed to high body weight, inactivity, excessive alcohol intake, or poor diet.


No diet prevents cancer with absolute certainty. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle may improve your overall health and minimize your chance of developing breast cancer.


Diet, inflammatory status, and cancer risk

Constantly, new information is uncovered on the health effects of certain meals. For example, inflammation is a stress reaction, and persistent inflammation is considered to result in DNA damage and cancer-causing genetic alterations in normal cells.


Some foods place a greater burden on the body than others. Sugar and other carbs may contribute to inflammation by elevating blood glucose and, therefore, insulin levels. It has been shown that elevated levels of insulin, which transports sugar into the cells, encourage the proliferation of cancer cells. This action is believed to encourage the development and spread of cancer cells and may contribute to the relationship between poor nutrition and cancer risk or recurrence.


Increased fat deposition, which is usually associated with high-carbohydrate diets, may also increase the amount of estrogen in the body, which can stimulate cell proliferation, particularly in breast and uterine cells that express the estrogen receptor. While increased body fat is connected with insulin resistance (high insulin levels) and inflammation, it also generates estrogen.


Also essential is how you cook your meals. Regular consumption of processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. And heating meals at high temperatures, such as grilling or frying, might result in the production of toxic substances associated with an increase in inflammatory markers.





Eat mostly plant-based foods.

The adoption of a plant-based diet does not necessitate vegetarianism. It simply indicates that fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes (beans, peas, etc.) comprise the majority of your diet. The nutrients in plant-based, unprocessed diets tend to prevent inflammation and, due to their relatively low carbohydrate and high fiber content, do not produce recurrent rapid increases in blood insulin levels.


Consider plant-based meals as the main course and protein and high-fiber carbs as the side dishes. This is the philosophy of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes a diet consisting mostly of vegetables, as well as lean meats, seafood, and plant-based lipids such as olive oil.


Soy, glucose, and lipids

Some patients are concerned that consuming an excessive amount of tofu, miso, or other soy-based foods would cause their estrogen levels to increase. To hypothetically raise your risk of breast cancer, you would have to consume almost nothing but these foods. Consuming soy foods in moderation does not raise the risk of cancer recurrence or premature mortality, according to the overall body of scientific evidence.


You may have also heard that "sugar promotes cancer growth." All cells utilize sugar (glucose) for energy, not only cancer cells. However, cancer cells will use whatever source of energy they can find. Therefore, even if you completely eliminate sugar from your diet, cancer cells will find an other source of energy. Sugar and other carbohydrates can raise insulin levels, and insulin receptors on tumor cells may induce cell division.


Finally, fats get a poor rap. The body need fat for energy, nutrient absorption, and protection of the heart and brain. However, not all fats are created equal; omega-3-rich fish oils include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are healthier. Avocados, eggs, almonds, olive oil, and sunflower seeds also contain these compounds.


Cancer prevention: The link between nutrition, activity, and body mass index


Healthy eating suggestions

Initially, altering one's diet might be challenging. However, one of the finest things you can do for your general health is to consume unprocessed, nutrient-dense meals.



Wild salmon and mackerel are examples of fatty fish that may be included in a healthy diet.

Focus your dietary plan on:



Eat a colorful assortment of veggies (carrots, squash, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, for instance) and some fiber-rich legumes (black beans, lentils, chickpeas, navy beans).

Choose fruits such as fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries that are high in antioxidants and relatively low in sugar.

Whole grains: In general, the foods in this category have less sugar and more fiber than their white flour equivalents. Consider the carbohydrate and fiber levels of your whole grains in order to optimize fiber and reduce carbohydrate per serving.

Lean protein: Choose lean cuts of beef (grass-fed, if feasible), chicken, turkey, or fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, or mackerel.

Avoid these:


This comprises red and processed meats such as beef, pig, lamb, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and lunch meat.

Fast food tends to be heavy in fat and carbs (including added sugar) and low in fiber, since it is comprised mostly of highly processed and refined grain products.

Choose water over sugary soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juice, and fruit juice drinks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

We shouldn't be asked to fully forego a cuisine we like, but balance is essential.

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