What About The “Good Sugars?”
By Nurse Mark
“You advise that consumption of sugar is a no-no for someone with cancer. I eat a lot of fruit which of course is high in sugar, I know there are different types of sugar: glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, etc, so my question is which can I consume without feeding the cancer?”
Whew! This is a really good question – and far more complicated than it might seem at first blush.
You are right – we do caution our cancer patients that sugars are a no-no.
This is because cancer cells are generally ill-equipped to get their energy from anything other than monosacchrides (simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, and galactose).
Most cancer cells do not do well with ketones, which the rest of the body considers to be a fine energy source. Without energy, the cancer cells starve – they may cease to grow and may become more vulnerable to the body’s own healthy immune responses which “clean up” aberrant and damaged cells.
On the other hand, providing cancer cells with a simple, ready energy source such as fructose, glucose, galactose or mannose is like throwing gasoline on a fire – and in our experience it almost always results in an explosive growth of cancers.
Sugars are simple carbohydrates.
The “sacchride” is the basic unit, and sugars include monosaccharides, disaccharides, trisaccharides and the oligosaccharides.
In practical terms, most carbohydrates are converted by our bodies to glucose, fructose, or galactose. Monosaccharides include fructose, glucose, galactose and mannose. Disaccharides are found mostly as sucrose (cane or beet sugar), lactose (milk sugar) and maltose.
So, in the “real world” of reading “Nutrition Facts Box” labels, which sugars are OK? The brief answer is “NONE OF THEM!”
The longer answer is more complicated – there are certain “sugars” and “sugar alcohols” that are not readily absorbed by the body and generally do not get used by the body as an energy source. These are often used in “low carb” products.
Other forms of sugars function as insoluble fiber and are found in good, low carb fiber supplements.
Interestingly, even these forms of sugars, though not useable for energy, are still carbohydrates and contribute to the carbohydrate count on the label. This is where the “Effective Carbohydrates” calculations come into play – but that is an article for another HealthBeat!
What should you be watching for when you look at “Nutrition Facts Box” labels?
The first clue is the carbohydrate count. Next, look for “sugars” – if they are present they’ll be listed. Don’t be fooled by food manufacturers who may try to bamboozle or impress you by listing their sweeteners by different names – often trying to make them sound “natural” or “organic.”
Some of these may include:
- cane molasses
- cane juice
- Florida Crystals
- Panela (or pilloncillo)
- Steen’s cane syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- sugar beet molasses and sugar beet syrup
- barley malt syrup
- brown rice syrup
- corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup
- agave syrup
- birch syrup
- maple sugar and maple syrup
- palm sugar
- sweet sorghum and sorghum syrup
- natural brown sugar
That’s quite a list, and many of those sound very healthy indeed – but in truth they are all just sugar by another name.
The starches – corn starch, tapioca starch, rice, wheat, potato, arrowroot and many more – are also metabolized promptly into sugars, so watch for these as well!
For those who don’t already know, Dr. Myatt’s Super Fast Diet is the premier anti-cancer, health-restorative, weight-loss diet available today.
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