Misinformation on Sugar

There is a lot of bad publicity about sugar, and how it can cause cancer. Media reports and articles can be read on the Internet on the supposed link between sugar and cancer. However, these articles are merely spreading misinformation and anxiety.

Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit academic medical center, ranked number 1 in the USA in 2020, stated “…giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t make them grow faster.

The American Institute for Cancer Research has stated that “every cell in our bodies, including cancer cells, uses sugar (glucose) from our bloodstream for fuel. We get that blood sugar from foods we eat containing carbohydrates, including healthful vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dietary sources. Some glucose is even produced within our bodies from protein, but there is no clear evidence that sugar in your diet preferentially feeds tumors over other cells.”

The American Cancer Society notes that “This fact is often misinterpreted by people, who assume (incorrectly) that sugars in foods and beverages directly ‘feed’ cancer cells.”

Humans need glucose to survive. Sugar works as the fuel for cells in the body to perform their necessary functions. Sugar fuels the growth of the cells in the body. Without their source of fuel, cells would starve to death.

When sugar is bad for us…

When people recommend cutting down on sugar, or avoiding sugar, what they really mean is cut away empty calories. Empty calories are calories that only provide energy with no nutritional value. For example, soda contains empty calories as soda can be high in calories, but without any nutrients. Empty calories are bad because excessive calories lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of multiple diseases.

What is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is widely added to foods and drinks because it is one of the cheapest sweeteners. Contrary to its name, it is not pure fructose. It is either a mix of 42% fructose and 58% glucose, or a mix of 55% fructose and 45% glucose.