3 Cancer Nutrition Myths Debunked

By: Irina Chan, ND

Myth: Alkaline diets can cure cancer.

Fact: The alkaline diet is a dietary approach that focuses on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, while minimizing the intake of acidic foods like meat, dairy, and processed foods. This dietary strategy is based on the theory that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. It is believed that by promoting an alkaline environment in the body through diet, we can stop the growth and spread of cancerous cells.

It’s important to note that there is currently no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Naturally, our body maintains a slightly alkaline pH level, which is strictly controlled to maintain our body’s cellular functions. While an alkaline diet alone is not be a cure-all for cancer, it can still promote overall health. It encourages prioritizing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

Myth: Sugar feeds cancer cells.

Fact: You’ve probably heard it before – sugar feeds cancer cells. It’s a misconception that has led many people to believe that cutting out sugar entirely can starve cancer cells. But the truth is more complex than that.

Sure, cancer cells do consume sugar, but normal cells do too. So, the solution isn’t to eliminate sugar altogether, but to choose the right type of carbohydrates.

Complex carbs like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are the superheroes when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels steady and reducing your risk of cancer. They provide sustained energy and are rich in fiber, which has protective benefits against colorectal cancer.

On the other hand, simple carbs like white bread, white rice, and refined sugars like corn syrup, white sugar, cane sugar, and agave can cause more of a blood sugar spike. If your blood sugar levels stay high for too long, your body can overproduce insulin to try and get things back to normal. Chronic high levels of insulin may increase growth factors that stimulate  tumor development and progression.

By prioritizing complex carbohydrates and avoiding simple sugars, you can not only keep your blood sugar levels in check (which is great for reducing risk for diabetes!)  but also help lower your risk of cancer. 

Myth: Juicing can cure cancer.

Fact: Juicing has gained popularity among some people as a way to fight cancer by providing a concentrated dose of nutrients and antioxidants from raw fruits and vegetables. It’s important to note that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that juicing can cure cancer or prevent its progression.

Overall, the evidence on the relationship between 100% fruit juice and cancer risk is mixed and further research is needed to better understand the potential risks and benefits of consuming fruit juices. While fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly important for our health, juicing can remove essential nutrients and fiber that our body needs to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

When it comes to cancer risk, there are several factors to consider, and high blood sugar levels and insulin are just a few. High blood sugar and insulin resistance are factors can lead to the development of obesity and diabetes, which increase risk of cancer.

Rather than relying solely on juicing, it’s preferred to consume fruits and vegetables in their whole form. This way, you’ll be getting all the necessary nutrients and fiber that your body needs to function at its best, while also decreasing your chances of developing cancer or other chronic diseases.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cancer there are many myths and misconceptions about what to eat and what to avoid. While some people believe that an alkaline diet, juicing, or cutting out all sugar is the answer, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Instead, a balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates can help lower your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. By making informed dietary choices, you can take positive steps towards supporting your health and well-being.

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