Fighting cancer is tough and it takes every bit of strength you have to put into it, I know this firsthand. Like so many of you who have been through it or stood by and supported someone who has, I did not go into my cancer diagnosis full of the wisdom and experience I have now. When my husband was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma several years later, I now understand, with his sweetness for sugars, we weren’t giving him the advantage he needed in his battle. It was also after this time that I made the decision to make nutrition my focus and my career, so that I could provide the guidance we didn’t have.
My husband, Marc, followed up his meals with sweets as a habit, and throughout his chemo treatments he continued this. Internally, his cancer was fueling itself on the sugar. With time and discovery, we now know that the refined sugars ingested in the form of simple carbs are detrimental to our health and even more so when dealing with cancer.
Sugar is one of the main substances that keep cancer alive. Medical research shows that cancer cells thrive on a sugar rich diet, and respond to sugars as fertilizer, as opposed to dying off as a healthy cell would. Although sugars give you bursts and boosts of energy for short term, they provide you with zero nutritional benefits that you need to fight this disease. You need your immune system fully supported at this time. The high insulin levels caused by a sugar rich diet increases inflammation in your body, and high inflammation is detrimental to your health and synonymous with cancer.
Your blood glucose levels are instrumental during these times, it is important to keep your levels checked and balanced. To a cancer cell, glucose acts as fuel, where as a normal healthy cell would die off in this environment, cancer cells have opposite and thriving reactions. Besides “starving” the cancer cell, maintaining your glucose levels and eating balanced, nutritious foods, also leave your body with optimal immune levels, so you are able to fight the nasty infections that often come along as side effects of treatments.
I suggest looking at our simple carbohydrates intake, just as we would items labeled as containing sugar. When we think of simple sugars, think of the sugars that cause an insulin response in our systems. Simple sugars are the white bread, white rice, enriched pastas, certain high sugar fruits and vegetables and fruit juices.
Often times, conventional cancer treatment plans leave out structured nutritional therapy. I feel strongly that the integrative approach is valuable and adds significant room for improved success rates, and I am living proof. Proper and guided nutrition serve to assist your conventional treatment methods, by slowing growth and decreasing inflammation, allowing your body to better co-operate with treatments, such as chemotherapy.
I can completely understand the desire for the sweet things in life and the difficulty to balance your diet, when you have so many other things on your mind. That is why my approach is to find the simplest way possible to introduce change and balance your diet without deprivation. I want you to help your body become more in tune with true natural sweetness. I want you to find yourself enjoying the subtlety of sweetness found in whole grains, and in your healthy fruit and vegetable choices. I want you to recognize when you have the desire and what options can help you transition into feeling fulfilled.
But, I can’t reiterate it enough. We must stop feeding cancer with sugar. Give yourself the advantage, keep your immune system in fighting condition, support your body, and if you’re supporting someone in their own cancer battle, continue to do so with preparing them loving and kind foods.