Sugar and cancer are once again being linked, according to a new study. Sugar in high amounts – commonly found in many Western diets – may increase the risks of breast and lung cancers. Researchers randomized mice that were predisposed to cancer and fed them different diets; those that were fed more sugar developed bigger cancerous tumors than the mice fed small amounts of sugar or only starches.
Reports Yahoo News on Jan. 3: “Previous studies have already looked at how sugar can play a role in the development of cancer; however, according to the team of researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, this is the first study to look at the direct effect of sugar consumption on the development of breast cancer and the specific mechanisms involved using breast cancer animal models.”
The study’s lead author, Lorenzo Cohen, said mice were fed between 9 and thirty-seven teaspoons of sugar per day. “We were very careful in our research to expose the animals to the equivalent standard sugar dosages of what humans consume,” Cohen said.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), no more than half of your daily calorie intake should come from added sugars, which can often be found in soft drinks, sports and fruit drinks, frozen meals, cakes, cookies, dairy desserts and milk products. Added sugars are characterized by those that are not naturally occurring – though it includes natural sugars that are added to a food or drink.
Writes the AHA: “Added sugars (or added sweeteners) include natural sugars (such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey) as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup). Some names for added sugars include agave syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose), high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses, raw sugar, sugar, syrup.”
In other words, in almost every food we eat or drink.
The AHA says that American women should have no more that 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons) of sugar. Men should have no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons).
To put that in perspective, one 12-ounce can of cola contains about 44 grams of sugar (or about 9 teaspoons). So one can of soda and you’re potentially already passed the daily recommended amount.
A study conducted in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the average American eats almost 20 teaspoons of sugar per day – a whopping 66 pounds each year.
The cancer and sugar study was published this week in the journal Cancer.