A study conducted by scientists at UCLA found that pancreatic cancer cells grew faster when “fed” with fructose (a type of sugar) as compared to other forms of sugar. Fructose is a simple sugar found in vegetables and fruit. Most soft drinks are sweetened with this type of sugar which comes in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Between 1970 and 1990 consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in the U.S. rose 1,000 percent!
The researchers of this study also concluded that fructose would likely speed the growth of other types of cancers in the body as well. The bottom line is all forms of refined sugar (fructose, sucrose, and glucose) have very few health benefits and all if consumed in excess lead to a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease and etc.
I know controlling your ‘sweet tooth’ is hard, but battling with some disease or even cancer as a result is much harder. So start today to begin to limit and ultimately eliminate refined sugars from your diet. But be sure to give yourself time – you didn’t developed your desire for sweets overnight nor should you expect it to go away overnight. A great place to start is to begin seriously cutting back on the number of soft drinks you drink a week, and if you can, eliminate all soft drinks from your diet which contain high-fructose corn syrup.
More food for thought: When the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey measured where most of our calories come from, they found that the category making up the largest percentage of our calorie intake (7.1 percent) was not a food at all; it was soda. Yes, not vegetables, nor chicken, nor fish, but soft drinks make up our largest food category!
So what does this mean? This means that if you’re a typical American consuming the typical amount of soft drinks per week, 7% of the calories you consume each day comes from drinking soda, and if you consume on average 2500 calories a day, 175 of those calories come from drinking soft drinks.
Now, here is where it gets interesting; if you were to cut soft drinks from your diet, the number of calories you consume each day would drop from 2,500 to 2,325. This seemingly small difference would equal a weight loss of 1.5 pounds per month or 9 pounds in 6 months!
Written by Jeffrey B. Brown, MD, FACP
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