Food choices exert a significant effect on life. Healthy eating habits can keep our body fit and enhances longevity, whereas, unhealthy eating habits cause adverse effects. This rule is also applicable in controlling cancer progression. Food choices can exert a significant impact on the efficacy of various cancer treatments and therapies. One of the major food choices people are interested these days is mostly full of artificial sweeteners.
Whether you have to lose weight or to control the blood sugar levels, artificial sweeteners have become the number one pick of many people around the globe. Because these don't enhance your blood sugar levels and don’t add extra calories to your daily diet.
"FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved a total of six artificial sweeteners; aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-K, stevia neotame, and saccharin"
But the question is, are these artificial sweeteners safe for cancer patients? How these sweeteners influence cancer patients? These are some of the questions swirling in mind of certain people.Let's explore what is the truth: artificial sweeteners are the friends or foe of cancer patients?
- What are artificial sweeteners?
- Why artificial sweeteners are today's popular pick?
- Do artificial sweeteners exert carcinogenic effects on the body?
- Natural sources of sugar
What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are the compounds used as a replacement of sugar in drinks and foods.
Initially, the earliest artificial sweetener, saccharin was originally formulated to resolve the shortage of sugar in the Second World War. However, later this product became popular for its calorie-reduced properties.
Why artificial sweeteners are today's popular pick?
Artificial sweeteners are a healthy alternative to refined sugars which are otherwise normally used in every kitchen. The table sugar or refined sugar is a sweetened product derived from sugar cane. This sugar is even addictive than most of the drugs and upon ingestion raises blood glucose levels very quickly.
An instant rush of glucose in blood circulation causes umpteen secretion of insulin. The same repetitive pattern for a long time may lead to severe health issues, for instance, the functionality of the pancreas gets defected and cause abrupt transportation of glucose to the cells.
Moreover, as per studies carried out by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer, the populations with diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome found to have a higher risk of cancer. In other studies, it is also found that cancer cells exhibit higher glucose uptake as compared to normal cells. This can explain how glucose can contributeto tumour progression. Therefined sugar can act as a carcinogenic and therefore, it is good to avoid refined sugar and opt for a healthy option.
“Like refined sugar, there are many other carcinogenic food items that are beings consumed by cancer patients unknowingly which can affect the treatment and recovery. Know what these carcinogenic food items are and cut these from your diet”.
Do artificial sweeteners exert carcinogenic effects on the body?
Now this is one of the most prominent questions whose answer will decide whether cancer patients should use artificial sweeteners or not
Doubts upraise when previous researches done on laboratory animals showed an association between cyclamate-saccharin combination and bladder cancer.
Although outcomes from further studies in the context of artificial sweeteners intake and cancer risk exhibited no clear associations. Analogously, studies of other FDA approved sweeteners showed no clear evidence of a connection with cancer in humans.
Therefore, it can be said that artificial sweeteners exert no harmful impact onthe lifestyle of cancer patients. However, must consult your physician before taking these artificial sources of sugar.
Natural sources of sugar
It is also wiser to switch to the natural sources of sugars. These are healthier options than any other type of sweetener. For instance honey, coconut sugar, or agave nectar. These sources are not only enriched with natural sugar but also in other essential nutrients and antioxidants.
These natural sources and artificial sweeteners can be safe for a cancer patient but doctor consultation is a must.