Cancer and Sugar Connection

When it comes to cancer, especially the cancer and sugar connection, there’s lots of misleading nutritional advice.

Contradiction and overwhelm is generated by the directives of the medical, nutritional and even cancer-support communities themselves. 

For example, consider the directive recently given to a client diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor advised her to , “Avoid eating sugar and any food that turns into sugar. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.”

Anyone who knows a thing or two about sugar, knows that the very foods this doctor advised the patient to eat are the very foods the doctor advised the patient not to eat. Contradiction contributes to overwhelm. 

In This Article You’ll find:

1.)  How To Fight Cancer With Food – MasterClass

2.)  Why Sugar Is Sugar Regardless of the Label

3.)  The Important Role Insulin Plays in Cancer

4.) Does Cancer Have a Weakness?

5.)  How Autophagy Defends Against Cancer

6.)  How To Prevent Cancer Defense Sabotage

7.)  How Insulin Supports Cancer Growth

8.)  The Common Thread Between Cancer, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia and More 

9.)  Exploit The Cancer and Sugar Connection

How To Fight Cancer With Food and Expose Cancer’s Weakness (MasterClass)

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Sugar Is Sugar Regardless Of The Label

Organic. Real. Whole. Clean. Locally Grown. Fruit. Vegetables. Whole Grains… 




Sugar and Carbs

We Need To Become Glucose Aware

This is not to say that fruit, vegetables and whole grains are off limits. But it is critical that we develop a “glucose awareness” or basic understanding of food and the sugar it generates. Especially if we are in a cancer situation or wishing to avoid cancer altogether. 

Anyone susceptible to cancer, whether it runs in their family or they are burdened with a health condition that leaves them vulnerable, should be  glucose aware. 

 Cancer And Sugar Plus Insulin

The cancer and sugar connection is more accurately the cancer and sugar connection plus insulin.

Picture a young girl whose body cannot process sugar, the condition of a type 1 diabetic.

I’m not just talking about the white granular sugar but all glucose sugar that food breaks down into during digestion. THAT sugar. 

Her life, her very survival, depends upon multiple daily injections of the  sole hormone that enables the cells of her body to utilize the sugar. That hormone is insulin. That sugar is glucose. 

Every one of us, whether we realize it or not, is powerfully impacted by glucose and insulin. 

  • Waist weight? Glucose and insulin. 
  • Heart Disease? Glucose and insulin. 
  • Neuropathy and restless leg? Glucose and insulin. 
  • Chronic pain? Glucose and insulin. 
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia? Glucose and insulin. 
  • Cancer? Yep. Glucose and insulin. 

When a mother sees her at-risk child vulnerable to the intimate glucose-insulin-cancer connection, she rolls up her sleeves, turns on the bright white spotlight, and investigates. 

Ever pause long enough to consider why those with Diabetes, both type 2 and the auto-immune version type 1 are that much more likely to develop cancer?  More likely to develop Alzheimer’s? Heart Disease?  Fibromyalgia, Fatty Liver, Neuropathy of all kinds? Even Depression?

Insulin and glucose are the common threads. Glucose is the science term for sugar when it’s inside of us, circulating in our blood.

How to beat cancer

Does Cancer Have a Weakness?

So when it comes to looking closely at cancer…beyond the carnivals and casseroles….beyond the banquets and banners of ‘hope’, we must see it for what it is. 

Cancer is a misbehaving cell, intent upon growing, inside you. Cancer is a traitor cell, a mutiny, an internal invasion by a newly formed enemy.

When faced with any type of problem, solutions are uncovered through constructive skepticism and questioning. My first question was, “Does this enemy have any weaknesses?” 

In battle or competition, wise warriors reconnaissance their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses can be exploited.  It’s all about strategy and taking advantage of any advantage we might have.  

When you investigate your opponent’s weaknesses, you begin to realize your own strengths. And we match our strength to its weakness. 

The human body is powerfully and intelligently designed!  Both offensively and defensively. And your first line of defense against the development of cancer  is your internal, naturally occurring mechanism called autophagy. 

Your Built-In Defense Against Cancer – Autophagy

 Autophagy: (auto) automatic (phagy) ‘self-consumption’.

 Autophagy is your body’s natural detoxification process. It, your body, does the detox for you. 

We  humans want to take credit for everything.  “I’m on a cleanse! I am doing a detox!” Pardon me, but your body does that for  you… if you are wise enough to get out of its way and allow it. 

Autophagy occurs when your body registers that cell parts are faulty or corrupted or no longer serving their intended function. Your body naturally purges any mis-performing pieces. 

During autophagy, human growth hormone production is in an uptick. If your body is purging a cell part, HGH  (human growth hormone) assists with the generation of new replacement parts or the re-building process.

Autophagy and Cancer

How Does Autophagy Defend Against Cancer?

Autophagy is your internal clean sweep. Just like you brushing your teeth and showering daily, your body also performs best with regular internal clean-up too.  

Consider astronauts in their space capsules. They perform a sweep – clean every day.  Any dust particles or microscopic debris floating around the capsule could sabotage the intricate machinery keeping them alive. Daily in-house cleaning is critical to optimal functioning.

This is why your capsule, your body, initiates autophagy every day, naturally. It’s like your built-in, internal insurance policy. 

Autophagy Fine Print 

However, like any insurance policy there are restrictions and special conditions. It’s critical to read the fine print. Your most powerful defense against the development of cancer, autophagy, operates under one condition; an incoming fuel deficit. 

Now, many a nutrition-chaser works their tail off daily getting all their nutrients in a row. 

They ask us, “Are you eating all your veggies? Are you getting enough plant-based protein? Are you getting your 3-5 servings of organic fruit? Are you eating enough unrefined whole grains? Are you getting in the superfoods? Are you taking in enough nutrients?” 

Vitamins! Minerals! Enzymes! Are you eating enough colors? Are you eating enough pretty foods? Are you eating enough……..? 

With all the eating going on a body is rarely NOT eating. A body must be deficient in ‘incoming fuel’ for autophagy to be activated.

A body must be deficient in 'incoming fuel' for autophagy to be activated.

How To Activate Autophagy

To me, the easiest and pleasiest path to activating and sustaining autophagy is by forgetting to eat. 

How do you forget to eat

By eating in a way where you aren’t hungry most of the day. Am I right? 

Autophagy Is Turned On, When Eating Is Turned Off

Autophagy turns on when we are running on fuel reserve. 

Fuel Reserve? Running on fuel reserve means running on the fuel you’re carrying. Running on your body fat, the most powerful and clean-burning fuel of all. 

This should be a daily occurrence. It can certainly occur when we are awake. But there’s an even easier time when it should naturally occur.  During sleep.

Every day should include fasting. Fasting is simply a period of hours with no incoming fuel. And every night is the perfect opportunity for a natural fast. 

Natural Cancer Treatment

The Power Of Sleep In Fighting Cancer

Sleep is designed for both rest and restoration.  Cellular restoration occurs when you’re not eating. And within this cell restoring autophagy, there’s the cancer-checking mechanism called apoptosis. 

Cancer Cell Terminator – Apoptosis

Apoptosis  means cell ‘suicide’. Built into the design of  every single one of our healthy cells is a natural self-termination or abort program. 

Your cells are designed to work for you, not against you. If and when a cell starts working against you, apoptosis should take care of it. 

But apoptosis functions only when the body is not being inundated with food. Any food. Even organic, nutrient-dense, supposedly cancer-fighting food. 

It’s when we’re not eating that we are our strongest.

Avoiding Cancer Defense Sabotage

Remember the cancer and sugar connection: when your body has plenty of glucose/sugar, cancer cells do not abort. Cancer keeps humming along.

The power knowledge here is that you may unintentionally be sabotaging yourself by inadvertently turning off your anti-cancer mechanism.  

Juicing, super-fooding, hitting nutritional quotas work against our natural cancer defense mechanism. Two to three servings of fruit a day, five servings of whole grains, lots of colorful vegetables all deliver glucose. 

How much sugar in an apple?

Every Carbohydrate Is Glucose. Glucose Is Sugar. 

The cancer and sugar connection goes beyond fueling and plays perhaps an even more insidious role: weakening your defense against the development of cancer in the first place. 

Over-feeding. Over-zealous ‘nutritioning’ is another aspect of the cancer and sugar connection. 

When Apoptosis And Autophagy Are Impaired, Your First Line Of Cancer Defense Is Breached.  

And now the rogue cell, not terminated as it should have been, demands two critical components in order to take hold and initiate growth. And we humans tend to oblige. 

The offending cell needs fuel, lots of it, and it also needs assistance with accessing that fuel.

The Cancer And Sugar Connection:  Sugar Is Cancer Fuel. Insulin Assists.

What is cancer cell fuel and what enables cancer cells to access the fuel?  

Just like every other healthy functioning cell of our body, cancer cells use glucose (sugar) for fuel. 

The Fuel That Cancer Cannot Use…

It’s critical to know right here that healthy cells can utilize another fuel that cancer cells can’t use. When your body is glucose deficient your healthy cells naturally shift to an alternative, superior fuel. Ketones. 

Ketones are a fuel that comes from burning body fat and/or dietary fat.

Operating on your stored body fat and dietary fat, cancer cells are significantly stressed while healthy cells are smiling.  

When Using Ketones For Fuel Cancer Cells Are Deprived / Starved Of Their Fuel – Glucose.

Glucose is cancer’s primary fuel. It’s also critical to know that the body, itself, makes glucose.  

Glucose is sugar.  The glucose/sugar inside us is referred to as blood sugar. That’s because when your body digests food, all the glucose from the broken down food is deposited into your bloodstream. 

Glucose and blood sugar are one and the same.

Your Glucose, Or Blood Sugar, Is The End Result Of The Carbohydrate You Eat. 

Also, some of the protein you eat can end up as glucose if you consume more than your body needs for building and repair.

Interestingly though, the glucose coursing through your bloodstream is inaccessible without insulin. That’s a powerful piece of science. The cells of your body, both healthy cells and cancer cells, can’t access your blood sugar/glucose without insulin.  

Insulin, your growth hormone, fat storage regulation hormone, and cancer cell support hormone signals cancer cells to take glucose in. The two key factors supporting cancer’s growth, quite simply, are glucose and insulin. 

Certainly, there are other hormones that influence specific cancer growth. Absolutely. 

However, every cancer cell’s establishment and operation boils down to this basic foundation, glucose and insulin. Glucose and insulin are also the reason many of us have the problem of belly fat.  

We can’t get rid of body fat because insulin levels are elevated. When insulin levels are up, our fat stores are locked down.

In my article, ‘Foods That Prevent Cancer‘, I discuss why foods that prevent cancer are the ones that don’t feed cancer.

How Insulin Supports Cancer Cell Growth Beyond Glucose

Cancer cells enjoy further support from insulin than just assistance with glucose intake. 

Indirectly, the presence of insulin positively impacts cancer progression. When insulin is elevated other cancer-supporting hormones are also elevated. 

Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1) & Tumor Angiogenesis Factor (TAF)

IGF-1 or insulin growth factor is a hormone that assists with cell proliferation. Pro-life-ration. 

And TAF or tumor angiogenesis factor is a substance a cancer cell secretes specifically to build its own blood supply network. (This is how cancer got its name. The cell and its blood supply network resemble a crab. The latin word for crab is cancer.) 

The more extensive the blood supply network, the more glucose pulled out of the bloodstream and into the cancer cells. 

When Insulin Is In Surplus a Body Is In ‘Grow Mode’

Insulin is purely anabolic, which means it is a catalyst for ‘building up’ rather than breaking down. 

Cancer cells aren’t the only recipients of insulin’s growth influence. Blood vessels also grow, THICKER, in the presence of insulin. Narrowing arteries and  subsequent elevated blood pressure are consequences of higher blood insulin. 

Glucose fuel and the insulin growth hormone are also involved in Alzheimer’s, neuropathy, heart disease, and every other lousy way to die, including cancer. 

It’s time all of our tribes unite. Cancer and diabetes and heart disease and dementia and every autoimmune condition all share the common threads of glucose and insulin.

Glucose and Insulin Are Also The Common Thread To Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Neuropathy and Many More Lousy Ways To Die

The cancer and sugar connection:  isn’t the only connection where sugar is concerned. There’s the  Alzheimer’s and sugar connection. The heart disease and sugar connection. The brain/ nerve health and sugar connection. The list goes on.

Insulin is the key. It enables cancer cells to access the sugar/glucose. 

Cancer cells are engineered to take advantage of the insulin-glucose mechanism. Glucose is so critical for its survival that cancer cells are equipped with far more insulin receptors than healthy cells. 

This fact may, at first glance, appear to be a cancer strength. And it IS a strength. 

Cancer Needs More Sugar… A Lot More Sugar

Cancer is primed to take advantage of any available glucose far more than a healthy cell is. 

Cancer can be described as being sugar ‘greedy’. Cells making the biggest demand for sugar and having the strongest capability of accessing the sugar, get the most sugar.  

Furthermore, research has shown cancer indirectly influences healthy cells by downgrading their sensitivity to insulin. This sets the cancer up for less competition for the sugar. 

Cancer cells require roughly 30 times more sugar than healthy cells.

Cancer Hijacks Its Host. 


It tips your internal environment in favor of its out-of-control growth. But it’s right here, at cancer’s strength, that we can open our eyes to its weakness. 

The cancer sugar connection is clear. Cancer requires sugar. Cancer requires a lot of sugar. Cancer requires roughly 30 times more sugar than healthy cells. 

However, cancer’s reliance on sugar is its greatest weakness. And it’s this weakness that we can, quite simply, exploit.

Exploit The Cancer Sugar Connection

The cancer sugar connection is real. Sugar is connected to cancer. Cancer is connected to sugar. Disconnect the two, and you’re looking at your cancer answer.

The more challenging aspect of the cancer and sugar connection is knowing where the sugar is coming from. 

This demands we become glucose aware

What Drives Cancer Growth?

Sugar in your body is glucose. The sugar in your body is, to a very small degree, created by your body and, to a very large degree, generated by the foods you eat. 

The amount of glucose your body produces on its own is nowhere near the amount a cancer cell needs. It’s the glucose you may be unknowingly consuming that drives cancer growth. 

If you’re ‘not eating sugar’ but consuming lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you are indeed eating sugar by consuming glucose-rich foods. 

Every carbohydrate food is glucose food. 

Every carbohydrate food digests into glucose. 

Being aware of the glucose value of the carbohydrates you choose could be the difference between winning and losing your battle with cancer. 

As in any competition, in the end, it’s the smartest player who wins.

The smart player initiates both defensive and offensive action. The smart player knows its opponent’s weaknesses and exploits those weaknesses. The smart player engages in Right Action, not just popular action. 

The cancer sugar connection is straightforward. Sugar supports, sugar fuels, sugar feeds cancer. Connect the dots. Consume less glucose-sugar foods to deprive cancer of the very substance its needs to survive. Glucose.

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About Barbara McDermott

Regarded as America's #1 Insulin Suppression Coach, Barbara is the co-founder of SHIFT Health & Wellness Solution, and the best-selling author of the groundbreaking book, ‘FOOD B.S.’, With SHIFT, Barbara brings common sense to nutrition, weight loss and health gain. Her refreshing, no nonsense approach to uncovering the truth using non-negotiable rules of science demystifies food and how to defeat chronic disease once and for all.

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One Response to Cancer and Sugar Connection

  1. Annie October 26, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

    Big thanks….every extra bit of info supplied in a different way is huge…..😊😊

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