Friday, September 2, 2011

Cancer has a Sweet Tooth

I’m reading the new book, “Sugar Nation” by Jeff O’Connell and it’s an eye opener. I’m generally pretty healthy and mindful of eating well except for this little issue of sugar! I love candy—the chewy stuff: licorice, gummy bears, fruit slices. I have rationalized that candy like that is low fat and relatively low calories so I chew away. Except that it’s been nagging at me.

Jeff’s book is about the consequences: insulin resistance, Diabetes Type2 etc. Now those conditions are scary enough: Heart disease, blindness, neuropathy and amputation. Yeah, that last word gets your attention right?

But then this: cancer has a sweet tooth.

Jeff writes, “Recent research shows that the consumption of high amounts of sugar and refined grains boost the odds for cancers of the esophagus, kidneys and pancreas.” And this, “Excessive insulin, produced internally in response to high glucose can raise your risk of being diagnosed with a number of cancers including colon, breast and liver.”

And the surprise: “The link between obesity and cancer may not reflect obesity itself so much as insulin levels being high.”

Later in the book Jeff describes the incidence of “metabolically obese thin people.” People who are fit of body and often healthy looking but internally have the same metabolic responses as someone quite obese.

Another statistic is the cincher: “Government statistics say that Diabetes Type 2 is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But that ranking is an illusion. Type 2 diabetes covers its tracks by ending a life some other way—a stroke, heart attack, toxic shock.”

Or cancer.

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