The myth of Sugar causes cancer/feeds cancer, but why its partially correct
One of the most misunderstood pieces of information on the internet is that sugar causes cancer. Remember, I'm a biochemist so I want the information to be based on what we know from research and physiology.
Glucose (sugar) is the currency of all cells. It makes ATP which is vital for metabolism and all cellular functions in the body. The issue with cancer and other chronic diseases is insulin spikes due to highs and lows of blood sugar levels. This can be correlated to different types of foods in our diet.
About forty five years or so ago researchers noticed that people with diabetes type II had a higher risk of developing a solid tumor/cancer than did people with diabetes type I. The difference between the two diabetic types is insulin production. In type I, little to no insulin is produced, but the cells will react (in general) if insulin is provided. In type II, the body produces lots of insulin in response to glucose in the blood stream, but the cells for the most part are non responsive.
One of insulin's normal functions is to trigger two proteins that signal cells to grow and divide. This is a very important and natural function. Healthy cells will grow at a normal pace and can turn themselves off as sugar is used up. Cancer cells are different. They have higher rates of glucose use (they divide faster) and their turn off 'switches' are broken. Research has shown that insulin spikes are responsible for an increase in some solid tumors aggressive growth.
It is therefore important to maintain a diet that aids in steady blood sugar levels.
What are the foods we are talking about incorporating
In the Pacific Northwest we can grow or find the following regional foods: bitter melon, greens, squash, beans, yams, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and blueberries (chromium), hazelnuts. You might also think about supplementing with lentils and avocados, fermented foods. Make sure that you eat three meals a day, or several meals through out the day. But most importantly, eat a whole foods diet.
The importance of exercise in cancer and other disease processes
One last word that has nothing to do with food or even specifically about the Pacific Northwest. Exercise must be a part of any healthy life style. Several reports out of the National Cancer Institute and other reputable institutions stress the important role of regular cardiovascular exercise to remission and recovery regarding cancer. It also plays a role in prevention and tolerance of side effects during treatment as well. Cardiovascular exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate. Walking is a great way to get out and move. You should always check with your doctor to determine your fitness before starting any routine.
Recommended Recipe to Maintain Balanced Blood Sugar
Black Eyed Pea Dip
This dip is similar to hummus but is made with black beans for variety. The texture is a little more substantial, but the flavor is still delicious. This is a quick and easy recipe to make – two steps: blend and serve!
Calories 43 Fat 0.3 Sodium 9.0 Potassium 163.0 Carbohydrates 8 Fiber 1.4 Sugar 0.7 Protein Vitamin A 21.4 Vitamin C 10.4 Calcium 19.5 Iron 1.2 Vitamin D 0 Vitamin E 0.1 Folate 51.0 Vitamin B6 0.1 Vitamin B12 0
Makes 6 servings
1 cup Black Eyed Peas, cooked
½ cup parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ cup onions
¼ cup tahini
2 TBS lemon juice
Salt to taste
Put all ingredients into a blender. Allow to mix until consistency is even. You may add water if the mixture begins to clump.