Can Increase Cellular Aging
Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.
Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.
As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction .
Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process.
Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging .
A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging .
In fact, each daily 20-ounce serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.6 additional years of aging, independent of other variables (
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.
Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.
High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.
Why Sugar Is Bad For You: A Summary Of The Research
Type “is fructose bad for you” into your search engine and you’ll get a slew of articles telling you that fructose can cause diabetes, obesity, gout, fatty liver disease, and even cancer. If you believe the headlines, you might be worried that every time you bite into a banana, youre hammering a big squishy yellow nail into your future fruity coffin. Yet public health officials, and even pediatric obesity specialist Dr. Robert Lustig, who goes so far as to , continue to advise us to eat fruit. Confused? In this post, I provide a review of the science and clear, simple answers about the connection between fructose, glucose, and common health problems so that you have the information you need to make smart decisions about your health.
I put all of these diseases in a single blog post not to overwhelm you, but because they belong together. Although these conditions seem very different on the outside, as you’re about to see, they are actually just different faces of the same basic underlying metabolic problem: insulin resistance. You’ll also quickly discover that all kinds of sugar are risky when it comes to your health, and that fructose is probably the least of your worries.
Ok, so let’s get to the bottom of these, once and for all.
- Does fructose increase your risk for TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Note: Because fructose malabsorption differs metabolically from the above diseases, I decided to cover it in a .
Q: Does Fructose Cause Obesity
A: Theres no evidence that reasonable amounts of fructose cause more weight gain than other sugars. However, too many sugary calories can absolutely cause weight gain, especially in people with insulin resistance.
An excellent 2012 review of human studies funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research1 concludes convincingly that fructose does NOT cause weight gain compared to other sugars unless people are fed extra calories.
Yet, when high doses of fructose that add lots of extra calories to the diet are given to people, yes, some studies do show weight gain.
Given that only a tiny fraction of pure fructose is turned into fat , its unlikely that fructose on its own could be responsible for the obesity epidemic. HOWEVER, in real life, fructose and glucose are almost always eaten together. Fructose itself doesnt cause much of an insulin response, but glucose certainly does, so when fructose and glucose are eaten together, insulin will spike and turn on fat building in the liver. It should be no surprise that big doses of fructose, when eaten with glucose, can make people fat.
But its important to point out that eating a big dose of glucose can make people just as fat.
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What Do These Studies Suggest
There is conflicting data on the association between sugar food intake and cancer risk. However, most of the studies indicate that sugar consumption in restricted quantities may not cause/feed cancer. These studies also highlight that a constant intake of high sugary foods which can increase the blood glucose to a very high level leading to overweight and obesity is not healthy and can increase the risk of cancer. Regular intake of highly concentrated sugary food may cause/feed cancer. Some studies also show that high sugary food consumption may interfere with certain treatment outcomes in specific cancer types.
You Should Cut Out Sugar From Your Life Completely
You dont need to cut added sugar out of your life completely. Different health organizations have different recommendations for the amount of sugar you should limit yourself per day. But they all agree that theres room for some sugar in a healthy diet.
75 percent of Americans eat more sugar than they should, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Not sure whether youre one of them? Try logging your food intake in a food-tracking app for a few days. That can give you a sense of how much sweet stuff youre actually eating and make it easier to eat less added sugar.
If youre overdoing it, cutting back doesnt have to be painful. Instead of swearing off your favorite sweet treats, try having smaller portions. After all, there are half as many grams of sugar in half a cup of ice cream compared to a whole cup, Fear says.
Keep an eye on packaged foods, too. Things like bread, flavored yogurt, cereal, and even tomato sauce can all have more added sugar than you might expect. So pay attention to nutrition labels and look for options thatll help you stay within your daily sugar limit.
study that followed more than 350,000 adults for over a decade found that added sugar consumption was not linked to an increased risk for death.
As long as you dont overdo it.
While a moderate amount of sugar doesnt seem to be harmful, having too much can put you at risk for gaining weight. But so can having too many potato chips, too much cheese, or even too much brown rice.
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The Sugar And Cancer Connection
According to the research, increased risk of cancer is not seen with sugar intake. Instead, cancer risk may be related to how your body responds to sugar. If you eat sugar rich foods all by themselves, especially if you are insulin-resistant, there is a greater spike in your blood sugars. This spikes results in an increased release of insulin-like growth factor , which has been shown to help cancer cells grow. If blood glucose levels are better controlled, less IGF is released which likely will decrease cancer growth.
Carbohydrates Raise Insulin Levels Could Abnormal Levels Of Insulin Lead To Cancer
Insulins job is to tell the cells in our body, Hey! Theres a lot of glucose. We should use it. Therefore, if we could get people to produce less insulin, they might do better. But the real root problem of the worldwide obesity epidemic and cancer as a result of obesity has to do with too much caloric intake. It has little to do with abnormal insulin signaling.
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Sugar Is A Treat But It May Play Tricks With Your Health
Forget witches, ghosts and goblins. One of the scariest things about Halloween is the candy you and the kids will be eating. Too much sugar can be a bad thing, but that doesnt stop us from craving it.
The United States is a nation with a sweet tooth. Estimates vary, but they agree that the average American eats a lot of sugar every day. Some estimates put the amount at about 17 teaspoons of sugar daily, while an analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture puts the average as high as 34 teaspoons a day. These estimated levels are up to six times higher than those recommended by the American Heart Association, which suggests no more than six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons a day for men.
While there is no evidence that sugar causes cancer or helps cancer grow, it may contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle that may increase cancer risk. For instance:
- Too much sugar may contribute to weight gain and obesity, one of the most significant lifestyle risk factors for developing cancer.
- Research suggests that diets high in added sugars tend to be low in important nutrients, including calcium, vitamin A, zinc and fiber. A healthy diet is considered key to helping reduce cancer risk.
Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad For You
From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.
Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.
In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of the total calorie intake of adults and up to 14% for children (
Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
Here are 11 reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health.
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Too Much Added Sugar Can Be One Of The Greatest Threats To Cardiovascular Disease Here’s How To Curb Your Sweet Habit
Sugar has a bittersweet reputation when it comes to health. Sugar occurs naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, and dairy. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay. Plant foods also have high amounts of fiber, essential minerals, and antioxidants, and dairy foods contain protein and calcium.
Since your body digests these foods slowly, the sugar in them offers a steady supply of energy to your cells. A high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Sugar And Cancer: Does Sugar Increase Cancer Risk
contributed by Nancy Burke, R.D., Danielle Karsies, M.S., R.D., and Melissa Shannon-Hagen, R.D., CSO, U-M Rogel Cancer Center Symptom Management and Supportive Care Program
You may have heard that sugar feeds cancer and to avoid all foods and beverages that contain sugar, but is this really necessary? Following such a restriction can significantly reduce your intake of foods that are rich in nutrients that have been shown to fight cancer such as fruits and whole grains. In addition, eating enough calories during cancer treatment can be difficult. Adding new, restrictive dietary changes can often lead to more stress which can also compromise your immune system. The following information is what the research shows in relation to sugar and cancer and how to incorporate healthy eating based on these findings.
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Is Sugar Bad For You
Let us count the ways
1. Ticker Trouble
Most people blame dietary fat for heart disease. And while certain industrial, inflammatory fats like trans fats do cause heart attacks, sugar is the real culprit. In fact, in 2016, researchers unearthed a huge sugar industry scandal, proving that the sugar lobby sponsored phony Harvard research in the 1960s. Turns out the sugar lobby paid Harvard researchers to take the heat off of sugars health effects, instead turning the focus on naturally-occurring fats supposed role in heart disease.
This faulty research concluded there was no doubt that the only dietary intervention required to prevent coronary heart disease was to eat less cholesterol and to eat polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat.
We now know this is not true. In 2014, researchers were able to scientifically show that ingesting too much added sugar could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In fact, people getting 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar face a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who got just 8 percent of their calories from sugar. The relative risk was more than double for those who consumed 21 percent or more of their calories from added sugar.
Today, most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day. Thats way more than what the American Heart Association recommends. AHA says:
2. Fatty Livers
3. Leaky Gut and Other Metabolic Diseases
Prostate Cancers Sweet Tooth
Cancer loves sugar, and sugar really loves cancer. Isnt that sweet? Actually, no, its more like a match made in hell because sugar makes many types of cancer grow faster.
Scientists have long known that cancers soak up glucose like a sponge in fact, German physiologist Otto Warburg, who found that tumors extract glucose at a rate 20 to 50 times higher than do normal cells, won the 1931 Nobel Prize for his research on metabolism.
Prostate cancer can take up sugar at a higher rate, too, says renowned scientist and PCF-funded investigator Lew Cantley, Ph.D., Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.
But Cantleys studies suggest that its not so much the amount of glucose in your bloodstream that helps promote cancer, as it is the level of insulin, the hormone made by the pancreas that controls glucose. Insulin helps turn glucose into immediate energy, and also helps your body pack it away for longer-term storage. Briefly, when you eat, your blood sugar goes up this causes your pancreas to say, Hey! We need to make more insulin! Insulin, like Paul Revere, then travels rapidly throughout the land, telling the cells to let the glucose in, either to be used right away or saved in muscles, fat cells, and the liver.
What about alcohol? A dry martini is probably safer than wine theres not much sugar in there. However, Cantley adds, I do drink wine, but as low in sugar as possible.
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Bottom Line About Fructose And Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, which leads to high fasting insulin and blood sugar levels. Except at very high doses, glucose may actually be worse than fructose when it comes to diabetes risk. However, because much of the fructose we consume turns into glucose , it is wise to be careful with both of these sugars.
The sad truth is that diabetes is simply your bodys way of telling you that you cant process carbohydrates anymore. The happy truth is that diabetes is a dietary disease, so it can usually be treated by changing what you eat. In article five Ill provide lots of helpful advice about how to eat if you want to prevent or reverse diabetes.
If Sugar Doesnt Cause Cancer Why Worry About It
If cutting out sugar doesnt help treat cancer, why then do we encourage people to cut down on sugary foods in our diet advice?
Thats because there is an indirect link between cancer risk and sugar. Eating lots of sugar over time can cause you to gain weight, and robust scientific evidence shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer. In fact, obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, which weve written about many times before.
Copy this link and share our graphic. Credit: Cancer Research UK
And a study published in 2019 suggested there could be something else going on. Researchers found that people who drank more sugary drinks had a slightly increased risk of cancer, regardless of body weight. The study took weight in to account, but there are still lots of answered questions. More studies will be needed to investigate this.
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Does Sugar Cause Cancer
Sugar feeds every cell in your body. But does sugar cause cancer, orhelp it to grow and spread? Our expert says to watch out for addedsugars, but not for the reasons you may think.
Does sugar feed cancer cells?
Lets look at the evidence to find out whether sugar causes cancer to grow and spread more quickly.
Its true that sugar feeds every cell in our body even cancer cells. But, research shows that eating sugar doesnt necessarily lead to cancer. Its what sugar does to your waistline that can lead to cancer.
Taking in too many sugar calories may result in weight gain. And, being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and other diseases.
So, should you avoid sugar? Our expert says no.
Your bodys cells use sugar to keep your vital organs functioning, says Erma Levy, a research dietitian in Behavioral Science. But too much daily sugar can cause weight gain. And, unhealthy weight gain and a lack of exercise can increase your cancer risks.
Eat the right amount of sugar
So, how much sugar is safe to eat? Women should have no more than six teaspoons per day , and men should have no more than nine teaspoons per day , says the American Heart Association. This equals to about 100 calories for women and 150 for men.
If youre like most Americans, you actually eat more than double that much sugar in a day about 22 teaspoons. Thats 260 cups or 130 lbs. of sugar each year.
Spot hidden sugar in food
A Lifestyle Strategy To Keep Cancer At Bay
Research shows that extended periods of high blood sugar and high insulin, the hormone that helps manage blood sugar, may influence cancer cell growth rather than any one particular food.
To keep the risk of cancer low and to slow down growth of existing cancer, you can adopt a lifestyle that keeps blood sugar consistently in a healthy range. The American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Societyrecommend that you:
- Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that dont spike blood sugar like whole fruits, beans, lentils, vegetables, whole grains and fresh herbs.
- Avoid quickly digested carbohydrates that raise blood sugar fast including soda, juice, candy and desserts.
- Balance meals and snacks to include protein, fiber and healthy fats these components slow down digestion and blood sugar spikes.
- Get moving! Exercise and physical activity throughout the day naturally lower blood sugar as glucose is used to fuel muscles.
- Manage stress. Stress raises blood sugar even without food! Make time for relaxing activities like nature walks, puzzles and time with friends.
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