Does sugar fuel cancer cells? Should you increase your fibre intake? Cut back on meat? What exactly is the best way to eat to beat cancer?
There are right ways and wrong ways to eat in order to stay as healthy as possible while battling a stubborn cancer. Advice comes from many sources but sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from opinion and fact from myth.
The diet we want is one that will boost our immunity and crack down on inflammation while making sure we are getting all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. We try to do this by including some types of food in our everyday diet and leaving out, or at least cutting back on others.
Here are some of the most common questions — and the best answers I could find regarding diet and cancer.
Does Sugar Fuel the Growth of Cancer?
Not if you go easy on it and stick to recommended limits. Cancer cells do use sugar for energy, just like every other cell in your body, but a normal sugar intake has no direct effect on the growth of tumours. So what’s normal? The dietary guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend limiting added sugar to 10 per cent of your daily calories, or about 4 tablespoons. So now you see. Indulge your little ‘sweet tooth’ but don’t over do it !!
Is It Best to Avoid Meat?
While it is always a good idea to eat on a plant-based diet — one that is rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans and lentils) — it is also true that high-quality lean meats and poultry in small portions can also contribute valuable nutrients to your diet.
But red meat and processed meats are another story. Not good. Many studies have linked red meat and processed meats (cold cuts, sausages and hot dogs, as well as processed poultry products) with cancer. The more meat consumed, the higher the risk. So beware. I have a little motto: “If in doubt – leave them out”
Should I Eat More High-Fibre Foods?
For most people, the answer is a big YES, particularly in our battle with cancer. Many studies recommend getting approximately 25 grams of fibre each day from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans and lentils) in order to maintain a healthy gut, reduce inflammation to prevent and survive cancer.
Does Drinking Alcohol Affect My Cancer?
We are tired of being told that alcohol can increase the risk of some types of cancer, especially when combined with other risk factors, such as smoking. As one who always loved his little tipple, who am I to disagree?
I can only give you my little theory and it is this. If you fancy a wee dram and you feel it helps you in the battle with the enemy within, then have it, enjoy it and the benefit you’ll get will outweigh any harmful effects.
Eat to Beat Cancer?
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The effort will be little but the reward will be great.