Monday, April 29, 2013

The food we eat and cancer

Yesterday I went through my freezer, refrigerator, pantry and cabinets and threw away things that I considered unhealthy. I couldn't believe the pile of stuff I had when I was done. I didn't realize how much processed food I had been eating.

Even things I thought were sort of healthy, I ended up throwing out. Like Dreyers frozen fruit bars and Chobani Greek yogurt had a lot of added sugar. No wonder I loved this stuff. I'm looking at sugar as the enemy now. The last thing I want to do is feed the cancer cells.

I found an interesting article on sugar and cancer written by a doctor from the University of Texas, 'Does cancer love sugar?'. Even though the naturopath oncologist agreed with me that sugar feeds cancer, that's not necessarily true. It's more what sugar does to the waistline and it's addictive properties (which I know all about). This article recommends a maximum of 26 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar a day for women.

If I ate just one non-fat Chobani yogurt (15 grams sugar) and one Dryers fruit bar (19 grams sugar), that's 31 grams of sugar a day. I often ate two Chobani's and two frozen fruit bars in a day, or 62 grams of sugar (almost 14 teaspoons of added sugar!). I was also eating a lot of fruit, as well as other foods that contained sugar. I've definitely been eating too much sugar, cancer or no cancer.

Luckily I like Stevia, and in a pure form it's considered non-carcinogenic according to some research. At least from what little data I could find. This article, Sevia and Cancer, indicates it may even have some anti-cancer effects. My favorite Stevia is NuNaturals. I've used it on and off for the past four years and it's the only Stevia product I'll use since it's in the purest form you can buy. Most stores that have a health food section, such as Fred Myers in the Northwest, carry their products. It's not bitter at all, unless you use too much.

I went grocery shopping yesterday for the first time since before the surgery. As I went up and down the store aisles, I noticed the shelves were packed with pocessed food. I guess it never meant much to me before but now when I looked at food I judge it differently than I did before. Instead of just looking at calories and fat, now I judge food whether it's good for me or good for the cancer. Does it have cancer-fighting properties or is it filled with cancer-promoting ingredients. I ended up with very few processed foods.

This is really a different way of thinking for me. I've always thought it was okay to eat a little processed food, a little sugar wouldn't kill me, just everything in moderation, right? Now I don't want to give any random cancer cells any help on finding a place to reseed and start multiplying.

It's funny in a way. I was trapped in a bad marriage for almost 25 years. It literally took my husband putting a loaded gun to my head and threatening to blow my head off to make me file for divorce. I've been trapped in a fat body for years, now it's taken a death threat, cancer, to make me completely change my eating. Rather ironic, isn't it?


Diandra said...

Wow, I guess this diagnosis was a real eye-opener for you.

I try to avoid processed food as far as possible, but sometimes it is just too damn convenient. Like getting frozen pizza instead of making our own, or getting bottled condiments. Well, every little bit helps. Maybe I will finally find a ketchup recipe that works for the BF and me?

Camilla Christine said...

Such a good choice to empty all the unhealthy stuff. I wish you all the best on your weight-loss journey as well as recovering from your divorce.

Following you on bloglovin, follow back? <3
Camilla Christine ///

Lyn said...

I believe cancer loves sugar, too. I try to avoid it. Look into green tea... there are many studies showing that green tea is a powerful cancer fighter! Still praying for you.

jinxxxygirl said...

Diana i'm so sorry to hear of cancer diagnosis....but so glad to see you taking the bull by the horns...My daughter has had a cancer scare and we are waiting for the test results...the waiting is horrible...Hang in there girlfriend. I will keep you in my thoughts. Hugs! deb

Hope said...

Diana, I've been reading your blog for years but haven't commented I just pretty much quietly "stalked" your blog. You see I could relate to your weight loss journey through the years... than you talked about your sister and the challenges you had to deal with and I kept thinking boy is she a strong person. Than you talked your marriage struggle and what's been happening. At one time I thought "ok now is the time to comment and tell Diana how much better life will be on the other side of a bad marriage." But I didn't... Now is the time that I let you know, you have lots of "silent" support who are in your corner and who are confident you will win the cancer fight! I hope you feel us "the silent readers" in your corner and who are confident this is just another obstacle/struggle you will beat!

Jackie Crawford said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this! My family and I had our eyes opened recently when it comes to food and cancer. My sister was diagnosed and it was the hardest thing I've ever heard in my life. On top of that, my husband and I watched a documentary on Netflix that made our stomachs turn. Like you, we went through our pantry and refrigerator and couldn't believe the junk we found. My sister really has helped us with eating healthier, in fact, she has a cookbook that's specifically for those with cancer, but I think benefits those trying to prevent it as well. The cookbook is called “Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen” by Annette Ramke & Kendall Scott. They have a great website,, that has a lot of wonderful resources as well. You should check it out, I think you'd like it! Great post and good for you for throwing all the junk out and starting new! Keep fighting!

Anonymous said...

ok diana, this is it. You are turning your life around. I really believe in the future this will be your defining moment and things are going to get better and better one step at a time,