• Sugar- good or bad?

    Asked by danellsar on Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Sugar- good or bad?

    Since my husband has been on chemo, he's been craving sweets. He was never a big sweets eater before, but now he wants a desert every night, sometimes 2-3 times a day. Since he's lost so much weight and had so much trouble with eating, it's hard to say no to something that he actually WANTS. I'm trying to make it as healthy as possible- pumpkin pie made from scratch with organic pumpkin, cake made with fruit puree instead of oil, etc.

    Meanwhile, several relatives have looked up info on the internet and keep sending me articles that say that sugar is totally bad for tumors, that if you could cut sugar out of your diet completely, it would make the tumors stop growing and go away.

    Anyone have any information on this??

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • susie81610's Avatar

      I have never been told not to eat sugar. Just be careful with how much he eats since I have had cancer with the chemo and radiation I don't tolerate sugar like I used to and some times I will get sick to my stomach. But if he wants sugar give him what he wants. Milk shakes are good for him put some carnation instant breakfast in with it and there is alot of protein for him. At this point the chemo will work on the tumors. Just don't over do it.
      Good Luck hope things are going better?

      almost 5 years ago
    • mamajltc's Avatar

      This is my theory...obviously you need to take care of yourself (my husband was and still is over weight, and had a reaction to avasatin, which affected his heart, so he needs to continue to watch his calories)...BUT...you are going through enough as is, and , after speaking with you Doctor, IF he of she says it's ok...then go for it. Enjoy! Obviously not sweets 24/7 (ah which is so tempting), but when its ok..and get yourself a good piece of cake or candy..etc...go to the nearest bakery and get the best thing they have there. We do not have sweets in the house, but we do go out for icecream on occasion.When he has chemo, I always get my lunch and bring him back a sweet. So it is not an every day thing, but it is a treat...and he (and YOU!) deserve it. If the doc says no sweets, then find another treat you can have, and enjoy when you can. Good Luck and know you are never alone!

      almost 5 years ago
    • gdytko's Avatar

      I have learned, just as I was starting therapy, that the sugar is what cancer feeds on. I also learned that you should keep a high alkaline diet, such as Citris and doing a regimen of one teaspoon of baking soda and two table spoons of apple cider vinegar, mix in a glass and drink once a day on empty stomach in the morning. Rinse it down with water. Then just go on eating your foods, but keeping the sugar level down. Cancer will die in this high alkaline atmosphere that the body creates. It will not harm you in any way, or add any side affects. I also have been told that people who do not have cancer would benefit from this also, to prevent cancer. It has something to do with the reaction to the stomach acids, digestion, and absorbion in the body. I'm just sorry to say that the cancer feeds on sugar, that is the biggest bummer. It is soooo hard to avoid SUGAR !!! Myself, I try not to, but I still eat some foods high in sugar. It's like you have no choise it's everywhere....

      almost 5 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      processed sugar or anything processed is bad for you Aguave syrup is ok and raw sugar is ok avoid fake sugars and high frutose corn syrup and corn sugar fresh fruit ice bars are good buy fresh or frozen fruit put in a blender and mash them all up i would add a tad bit of 200% juice in them then i would pout them in the popcycle mold and freeze it i lived on them for a while and milkshakes..... different chemo made me want different things crazy.....

      almost 5 years ago
    • jamrck's Avatar

      I was told I could eat anything I wanted (obviously within reason). They were more concerned about keeping the weight loss to a minimum. Since chemo often affects your taste, it's hard to keep eating when nothing tastes good. Like anything else, good common sense goes a long way.

      almost 5 years ago
    • sofarsogood's Avatar

      He needs to eat what he can keep down. For me it was vanilla ice cream. The nutrition rules change when on chemo. He already has cancer; the chemo is attacking the cancer.

      Most fruit, especially citrus, tastes very bitter. I love strawberries, but I couldn't tolerate them on chemo. Plus, many people get incredible mouth sores. Even after chemo, my mouth was so sore, I couldn't drink wine or any acids.

      Once he is through the treatment, he can concentrate on his diet. The cancer itself is taking about 15% of his calories. He should eat whatever appeals to him.

      almost 5 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Certainly cancer feeds on any source of energy, as it takes massive amounts of energy to support the cloning process. Much of that energy comes from sugar, and all of the energy comes via the bloodstream. However, note that your body uses the exact same process to replace dying normal cells on a daily basis. Early on, I discussed this with my oncologist. He explained that, if simple sugar reduction was effective, that is all any of us would need to do to fight cancer. However, the liver excretes the enzymes necessary to convert carbs and proteins into the sugars that our body needs for normal cellular reproduction. In other words, if you try to starve the tumor, you also starve the body, since both are fed by the same blood. It is much more complicated than that.

      This is why cancer therapy is directed toward cancer-specific treatment, while sparing, as much as possible, the rest of the body. If he is losing weight, his body is craving the energy contained in sweets simply to help itself survive during this battle. It is very important that you discuss this with doctor, nurse and/or dietician. By providing a well-balanced meal, perhaps supplemented with protein shakes or other means that are acceptable, you can give him the nutrition that he needs without the sudden spike in blood sugar. As well, proper nutrition may reduce his craving for sweets.

      The state of his blood must also be considered. Is his blood sugar being monitored? I would think that the goal is to keep it within normal ranges, as that is what the body itself needs to survive - never mind the cancer. Talk to doctor about this.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Gururobb's Avatar

      Im sticking with my theory of sugar is cancer fuel.
      In short......what gdytko said :-)

      almost 5 years ago
    • collinsb01's Avatar

      Basically sugar is not good since cancer tends to draw it for energy. Since your husband is craving it, try providing it through fresh and dried fruit, juices, nuts and nutritional snacks. You may also try offering him more healthy snacks throughout the day as this may stave off some of the cravings. And from time to time, go ahead and enjoy a special dessert. With all that you are both going thru, it's well deserved. God bless you both.

      almost 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I did see one case study on glioblastoma regarding drastic reduction of sugar in order to "starve" the tumor... But, the patient had to follow an incredibly strict diet and attempt to maintain a super low blood sugar. It's the only case I've seen. I did some research because people were telling me the same thing.

      It's clearly true that cancer consumes blood glucose at a higher rate than other tissues at rest - that is the basis of the PET scan. You receive the injection of radio-labeled glucose, and the scan detects tissues consuming it at higher rates than other tissues. So, your heart lights up bright... and so does cancer.

      What to make of it? I have yet to find any clear research that yields enough information to make a conclusion regarding whether a person should deny a cancer patient sweets.

      But, research does show that reduction in refined sugars = good for everyone....

      So, in the end, my approach has been to focus on eating as healthfully as possible - discussing supplements and dietary decisions with my docs and nurses.... They have been very very helpful in that regard. Another possibility is to request an appointment with a nutritionist who specializes in cancer care. That person would be able to help your husband put together a dietary plan that he can tolerate / enjoy (because enjoyment is important too, when it comes to eating) and that will help him be as strong as possible.

      I hope this helps. My craving for a couple of months was SPICE SPICE SPICE!!!!!

      Best wishes,

      almost 5 years ago
    • JAYCC's Avatar

      I'm with the the no sugar gang. Also was told by nutrionist cancer cells like sugar.
      But he needs to eat. Try using the more nature foods to add the sweet taste. Also try salsa and pepper the spices add flavor and help cover up that metal taste in the food.

      Another trick, put small amounts of food on large platters, takes away the overwhelming feeling it has to eat all that food, and drink large glass.

      My husband was always very proud when he asked me for a second glass, or second helping.

      over 4 years ago
    • xxx19xxx's Avatar

      Good Morning.......I've been reading everything I could get my hands on about cancer, and the one thing I've seen all along is that a cancerous tumor, of ANY KIND, loves and feeds on red meat and sugar......I wouldn't cut the sugar out 100%, but I would limit it.......Hope this helps, and good luck to you.

      almost 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more esophagus (esophageal) cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Esophagus (Esophageal) Cancer page.