World Cancer Day 2022: This sugar is good for cancer patients

Updated on: 4 February 2022, 13:27 pm IST

Cancer patients fear consuming fruits as they contain sugar content. This World Cancer Day, let's bust myths around their impact.

Aayushi Gupta
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fruit combinations
Find out about the foods that are healthy for cancer patients. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Cancer is too heavy a word to say. And only those who are suffering from it know the real struggle. Despite the fact that cancer is a life threatening disease, many people are still unaware of the role that nutrition can play in mitigating the risks. Nutrition is a key element in every cancer patient’s disease-fighting strategy. Eating healthy helps to lower the risk and heal faster.

When it comes to diet, many people believe that sugar isn’t healthy for cancer patients, especially. But is this true?

The link between cancer and sugar

It is no secret that sugar is really unhealthy for health. But does sugar have the ability to cause cancer or can make it worse? No, sugar has no direct link with cancer. However, cancer cells consume more sugar and get energy from sugar (glucose) molecules than normal cells which can be problematic. But there’s no conclusive evidence available.

sugar and cancer
Sugar can negatively impact your health and must be replaced with healthier alternatives! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

But due to that, there’s this constant fear about consuming fruits, especially when someone has cancer. People believe sugar present in fruits can take a toll on their health. Now, should you consume fruits or not? That’s the biggest question.

In her Instagram video, Neha Ranglani, a nutritionist and a health coach, says the narrative in the world of cancer is that sugar feeds cancer cells, which is true. Sugar does feed your cancer cells and helps them grow and multiply. But not all sugars are created equally.

Is fruit sugar healthy for cancer patients?

Yes ladies, fruit sugar has no harm for cancer patients. In fact, it helps to fight against cancer.

Also, read: World Cancer Day 2022: Warning signs of cancer you must keep an eye on

“The sugars which actually feed your cancer cells are the refined sugars, brown sugar, corn syrup, or white sugar, which have the cancer cells to grow, but not fruit sugar. In fact, fruit sugar helps your cancer cells to shrink because of its high fiber and vitamin and mineral density,” says Neha Ranglani.

A joint report by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute of Cancer Research found convincing evidence that shows that a diet rich in fruits can reduce the chances of certain cancer such as cancer of the mouth, esophagus, lung, stomach, colon, and rectum; evidence of probable risk reduction was found for cancers of the larynx, pancreas, breast, and bladder as well.

In addition, our liver loves fruits as the sugar in them energies it to perform its detoxification role well and that’s a key step in reversing cancer.

Fruits for cancer patients

Deepti Khatuja, Head Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram suggests these fruits for cancer.

1. Avocado

Avocado has anti-cancer properties. It has a lot of antioxidants and they have been found anti-cancer activities against breast, oral and prostrate cancers. They are higher in the fat component as compared to other fruits but they generally they are rich sources of MUFA i.e. monounsaturated fats and good sources for vitamin D3C and vitamin A, which improves the immune system.

healthy sugar for cancer
Avocado is touted as one of the best fruit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Banana

They are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibres and vitamin B6 and they have been found to have the active component of hydroxycinnamic acid, which possesses anti-cancer properties and is associated with reduced risk of colorectal and breast cancer as well as renal cell carcinoma.

3. Cranberry

Cranberry has anti-cancer induced properties and bio-active compounds which include hydroxycinnamate, quercetin which provide anti-cancer properties and it is helpful against the cancers of breast, colon, mouth, lung, ovaries and prostate.

4. Strawberry

Strawberry which we use in making juices, smoothies, milkshakes, etc are good sources of vitamin C, flavonoids, dietary fibres, etc. It has been shown to abate breast, cervical, colon, and prostate cancers in some conditions.

5. Cherries

Cherries are a good source of fibre, vitamins and dietary minerals and are an excellent source for flavonoids and anthocyanin. Cherries also possess antioxidant radio protective properties.

healthy sugar for cancer
These foods can save you from the effects of cancer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Grapes

Grapes are a very good source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Cancers including bladder, breast, colon, head and neck cancers as well as leukemia, lung, pancreatic and skin cancers can be prevented with the help of grapes.

7. Berries

Other berries like red grapes, gooseberries, blueberries also have lot of phytochemicals, flavonoids, anthocyanins etc. which can help in preventing the growth of the cancer cells or may abate the tumor growth and thus helping in the immunity in decreasing the incidences of cancer.

Hope this clears the air for you now! So, fearlessly enjoy your fruits especially if you have cancer, and actually, feed your cancer cells with fruit sugar but not refined sugar.

Expert Tip: Organic fruits are a better choice when trying to deal with cancer!

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.

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