(NaturalHealth365) You’ve probably heard that too much sugar harms your health. Sugar can be blamed for many health issues, from exacerbating anxiety and depression to lowering your immune system function.
Sugar is also a culprit for chronic health conditions such as obesity, type two diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. As if that weren’t bad enough, new research suggests that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks may be linked to an increased risk of cancer mortality.
Researchers find sugar-sweetened drinks increase risk of cancer death
Sweetened drinks and foods seem to be everywhere. It’s easier to walk into a gas station and choose from a wide variety of drinks with added sweeteners than to find ones without them.
However, according to two recent studies, this could be bad news for cancer risk and mortality. One study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, a publication from the American Society of Cancer Research. This study evaluated the effects of both sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and artificially-sweetened beverages (ASBs) on cancer. The study looked at almost a million U.S. participants, going back to 1982.
At the start of the trial, the participants were free of cancer. Then, they reported their ASB and SSB consumption, with researchers following up on the number of deaths among the participants through 2016. Ultimately, researchers found that those who consumed two or more sweetened beverages per day experienced a higher risk of mortality from some types of cancer, particularly obesity-related cancers.
It is not only drinks, sugary foods lead to more cancer too
Another study, published in 2020 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also suggests that sugar is linked to cancer risks. This study involved 101,279 participants, again looking at their total sugar intake and how it impacted cancer risk. Sadly, increased total sugar intake was associated with a greater overall risk of developing cancer, especially breast cancer. Consumption of other sweeteners and added sugars also raised the risk.
The results of these two studies are shocking, especially considering the widespread sugar consumption in our society. The research begs the question, could sugar be a significant and modifiable risk factor when it comes to preventing cancer?
More discussion is warranted on the disturbing potential links between sugar intake and cancer. But, it’s certainly safe to say, reducing processed sugar intake in your diet is a smart decision.
How to reduce your total sugar intake
Given the research findings, it may be wise to minimize your intake of added sugars and sweeteners as much as possible. Doing so will help you feel your best and could even lower your risk of diseases like cancer. It’s a good idea to always read food ingredient lists and avoid processed foods, as they are often high in added sugars. If something has a very long list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, it’s probably not a healthy choice.
Whole, plant foods are the safest bet when trying to lower your sugar consumption. Whole fruits are a healthy and natural source of sugars. They also contain vital nutrients.
You may also want to try another interesting strategy of increasing your daily vitamin C intake. Integrative healthcare providers have reported seeing a reduction in sugar cravings – when patients maintain higher vitamin C levels.
Initially, reducing your sugar cravings may seem difficult. But, over time, as you eat more natural (unprocessed) foods … kicking the sugar habit will get easier and greatly improve your health.
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