If you've resolved to cut back on sugar this year and you're looking for some renewed motivation, a new study's findings just might do the trick.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center focused on the mammary gland and linked high sugar intake to breast and lung cancers, joining a number of studies that tie sugar to obesity and heart disease worldwide.
The findings published in Cancer Research are pretty important when the average American consumes more than 100 pounds of sugar per year. Yes, one. hundred. pounds. Researchers took this figure into consideration when randomizing mice to four different groups, each with a different diet.
At 6 months old, 30 percent of mice on a starch-control diet had measurable tumors, and 50 to 58 percent of mice on sucrose-enriched diets developed mammary tumors.
"We found that sucrose intake in mice comparable to levels of Western diets led to increased tumor growth and metastasis, when compared to a non-sugar starch diet," said Peiying Yang, assistant professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine. "This was due, in part, to increased expression of 12-LOX and a related fatty acid called 12-HETE."
According to co-author Lorenzo Cohen, professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine, it's specifically fructose (what you find in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup that's become such a staple in our diets) that was responsible for helping lung metastasis and 12-HETE production in breast tumors.
This all sounds doom and gloom, and giving up sugar is pretty tough. We get it—we even tried going sugar-free for 10 days and it didn't go very well. But if you think something has got to give this year, try ditching the soda and sugary fruit drinks. And when you're looking to satisfy a breakfast or dessert craving, try one of these sugar-free or low-sugar recipes instead. We promise, they'll hit the spot.