- Question from Helmata: How bad is sugar when you've had breast cancer? And how you can avoid it through the holidays?
- Answers - Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. The most important thing during the holidays is enjoyment of traditional foods, with a sense of control or moderation. The last thing you want to do during the holiday season is to eat so much food, whether it's sugar or fat, that you start gaining weight because it is probably more than the sugar per se that is potentially a problem for breast cancer recurrence. It probably has to do with some of our body's hormones that are responsive to sugar that have more to do with cancer recurrence.
- Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. I think what Diana is really trying to say is that the overall negative impact on the cancer has more to do with consuming too many calories in a short period of time. It really has more to do with taking in, say 2,000 calories in half an hour, as opposed to breaking it down over the course of a day. So a bit of sugar to enjoy a dessert or treat in moderation will not increase your chance of developing cancer or having a recurrence, whereas sitting down and consuming half a gallon of ice cream in half an hour may.
- Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. I also think the foods that are high in sugar should be special treats, and I think of them mindfully with intention, thinking how much of it will satisfy this craving or memory I have. How much does my soul need? This is not food that has cancer-fighting molecules in it, so I look at food as either nurturing my soul or nurturing my cancer recovery. So the bulk of my food does come from food I know has an abundance of cancer-fighting molecules in it.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Eating and Drinking Through the Holidays featured Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about how to stay healthy during the most hectic, high-calorie time of year.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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