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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.
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) is Canada’s only national, bilingual, toll-free service that offers personalized comprehensive cancer information in over 100 languages.