Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Anticancer foods, part 2: sugars

Here's the next post I made on this subject on my ACOR list. (First post was here.)

It's hard for me to believe that this would be as important as it seems (the Nobel Prize in 1931???) yet shortly after diagnosis my hospital gave me a diet encouraging me to increase my caloric intake, including a lot of the forbidden items below.

Yet, the author of Anticancer said his oncologists told him the same thing: "Doesn't matter what you eat, just keep your weight up."

Many of the specific recommendations at bottom will be familiar, but what was completely new to me was that this stuff encourages tumor growth! And nobody told me. Just as the author (an MD) described at his hospital, none of the nutrition advice I received talked about this at all.


Continuing on the foods theme, from Anticancer: sugars, and certain grain foods that produce sugar.

==== Principles ====

Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize (in 1931!) for his discovery that the metabolism of malignant tumors is largely dependent on glucose consumption.

When we eat sugar or white flour:
- glucose rises rapidly
- insulin is secreted so the glucose can enter cells
- insulin is accompanied by IGF, which promotes cell growth

Both insulin and IGF promote inflammation, which as I said the other day favors tumor development. Also, cancer journals in 1999 and 1998 reported that insulin spikes and IGF promote cancer growth AND enhance tumors' ability to invade neighboring tissues. Not what I want in MY innards!

The good news: your chemical "soil" changes rapidly in response to a reduction in refined sugar and white flour: levels of insulin and IGF drop quickly. (Specifically, it doesn't take months of diet change to get results: you can quickly alter the "soil" in which your tumors will or won't be growing.)

==== Bottom line ====

Foods we can use liberally:

Mixed whole-grain cereals (Yum!)*
Oatmeal, All-Bran, Special K
Multigrain bread (not just wheat, even whole wheat)
Rice: whole grain, basmati, Thai (NOT white)
Pasta (preferably multigrain) cooked al dente
Oats and other grains (not corn)
Legumes: peas, beans, yams, etc.
Fruits in their natural state, especially blueberries, cherries, raspberries.**
Drinks: flavored water; green tea; red wine with meal
Garlic, onion, & shallots lower insulin peaks when mixed with foods

* We love Nature's Path FlaxPlus granola - delicious and crunchy; doesn't taste like cardboard as some organics do.

** We LOVE Rader Farms' "Nature's Three Berries" mix , which comes in a big frozen 4# bag for just $10 at Costco. Don't know if it's available elsewhere. Delicious; we put it on cereal or desserts.


Troublemaker foods to avoid:

Sugar (all colors, incl honey & all syrups)
White grains / bleached flour: white bread, white rice, overcooked pasta, muffins, etc
Potatoes, especially mashed. Potatoes turn quickly into sugar.
Cornflakes and most other bleached or sugared cereals. Even unsugared, they digest directly into sugar.
Fruit in syrup; jams, jellies
Do NOT drink: sugared drinks; alcohol except during meals

More details are in the book - this is just the basic idea, with some specifics.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments will be posted after they are reviewed by the moderator.