You are here: 
A-|A|A+

Sugar and cancer

Over the past few years, there have been reports, e-mails and websites that say eating sugar feeds cancer or that sugar makes cancer grow faster. All cells in your body consume sugar as they grow and divide, but eating sugar does not make cancer cells grow faster.

Sugar is found naturally in fruit, vegetables, milk and honey. It is also added to other foods like soft drinks, juice drinks, desserts and condiments to make them sweeter.

Every cell in your body requires sugar (glucose) for energy. Your body can also store sugar to use as energy later. Your body needs this sugar to function normally. Because we consume thousands of dietary components every day, it is difficult to understand the links between diet and cancer.

What we do know is that Canadians eat a lot of sugar every day. Eating lots of foods that have sugar added means you are more likely to put on weight. Research shows that being overweight or obese increases your risk of cancer. Being obese may cause changes in hormone levels. Changes to sex hormones or insulin might increase the risk of developing breast, colon or uterine cancer. A healthy body weight will be different for everyone, so check with your doctor about what a healthy body weight is for you.

More information on cancer.ca
Sugar
Nutrition and fitness
Healthy body weight

A-|A|A+

Stories

Dr Troy Harkness Finding new ways to treat drug-resistant cancers

Read more

Taking action against all cancers

Icon - question mark

The latest Canadian Cancer Statistics report found that of all newly diagnosed cancers in 2017, half are expected to be lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers. Learn what you can do to reduce the burden of cancer.

Learn more