Should I eliminate sugar from my diet?


Question from Liana: I often hear that sugar feeds cancer. I'm curious about your opinion on that; and as a 3-year survivor, to what extent should I entirely eliminate sugar from my diet? Or in other words to what extent should I panic or be concerned with minimal intake?
Answers - Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. I don't panic about eating small amounts of sugar. I, again, reserve foods that are high in sugar such as Halloween in candy or holiday desserts as very special treats. I eat small portions and truly savor them. I have absolutely no worries about sugar in foods like fruits as a natural substance. I think the larger worry is the overall dietary patterns of consuming processed foods high in sugar that are essentially empty calories and empty weight gain and thereby increasing the chance of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
Larissa Korde I absolutely agree. And just stress that if you're going to completely cut one thing out of your diet it becomes very difficult to maintain that kind of control or rigor, so allowing yourself a sweet treat every now and then I don't think should cause worry or panic.
Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. This gets to what I call intentional eating: eating in a style that helps you actually decide you are nourishing yourself. Food is more than biochemistry, more than molecules, more than nutrients. Food nourishes your body but it also nourishes your soul. So, in a very intentional way, I do look at special foods, whether they be Halloween candy or a special dessert at a traditional holiday meal, and decide "Is this nourishing my soul?" And if it's worth it, I then decide "How much do I really need to eat?" Do I need to eat the whole box of cookies? No. So, I very, very deliberately eat and savor every bite. It's thoughtful selection; it's not deprivation.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2009, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Nutrition Through the Holidays. Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. and Larissa Korde, M.D., M.P.H. answered your questions about what and how much to eat when holiday treats abound.

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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