3 Cancer Nutrition Myths Debunked

Let’s tackle some of the most common nutrition myths in cancer!

Myth: Alkaline diets can cure cancer.

Fact: The alkaline diet is a dietary approach that focuses on increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. This effort is paired with 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. Some people believe that by selecting “alkaline foods” we can promote an alkaline environment in the body. And that a more alkaline internal pH we can stop the growth and spread of cancerous cells.

This is INACCURATE.

Naturally, our body maintains a slightly alkaline pH level, which is strictly controlled to maintain our body’s cellular functions. The “alkaline diet” isn’t all bad. It does encourage prioritizing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. It’s important to understand that you CANNOT change your pH with careful food choices.

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. Prioritizing their intake can help when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels steady. They provide sustained energy and are rich in fibre, which has protective benefits against colorectal cancer.

By prioritizing complex carbohydrates and limiting 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. People claim juicing can achieve this by providing a concentrated dose of nutrients and antioxidants from raw fruits and vegetables. To date, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that juicing can cure cancer or prevent its progression.

Fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly important for health but juicing can remove essential nutrients and fibre that our bodies need!

When it comes to cancer risk, there are several factors to consider. High blood sugar levels and insulin resistance are part of the picture. Unregulated over time, these can lead to the development of obesity and diabetes, which increase risk of developing cancer.

Rather than relying solely on juicing, consider consuming fruits and vegetables in their whole form as well! You get all the necessary nutrients and fibre that your body needs to function at its best, while supporting healthy blood sugar.

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 diets.

A balanced and healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates may 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.

Have you come across nutrition myths in cancer? Feel free to reach out to our team!

If you want to learn more check out Foundations for Health in Cancer or contact our team HERE!

References:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32640737/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33854607/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30895469/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22234738/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22162232/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915548/