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Sweets and Cancer

Sweets and Cancer

In 1949 when Candy Land supplanted Uncle Wiggly as the Milton Bradley’s top selling board game, the old U.S. of A. was on track to becoming the largest consumer of candy in the world.

These days, Americans spend billions annually on candy—consuming 22 pounds per person. Overall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that in 2015, each American consumed more than 75 pounds of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and/or other sweeteners.

That’s not fun and games, folks! Seventy-five pounds of added sugar and sugar syrup is know to cause obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney and joint woes, dementia, a lousy sex life and more. Now, a new study out of the University of Texas, Dallas, has found that certain kinds of cancers are sugar-crazed too. Squamous cell cancers of the lungs, head and neck, esophagus and cervix thrive on consuming glucose, say the researchers. (The U.S. rates #6 in the world with 318 cancer cases per 100,000 people; the world average is 182.)

Although more studies are needed to show how consuming blood-sugar-boosting added sugars, sugar syrups and simple carbs invite cancer to take hold, or that avoiding added sugars and syrups will slow cancer progression, we say, “Why wait? Ditch ‘em now!” If you’re craving a sweet treat: Try one ounce of 70 percent cacao dark chocolate a day. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory flavonoids, has a good dose of magnesium and copper, is good for your circulation and raises your level of healthy HDL cholesterol.

Medically reviewed in May 2018.

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