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An indirect link exists between sugar and cancer.

Does sugar feed cancer?

To date, no randomized controlled trials show that sugar causes cancer, says Katie Krawczyk, registered dietitian nutritionist at the Upstate Cancer Center.

However, an indirect link exists between sugar and cancer. Eating a lot of high-sugar foods, such as cakes, cookies and sweetened beverages, can contribute to excess caloric intake. This may lead to weight gain and excess body fat.

Research has shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 11 types of cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.

It is recommended to reduce added sugars, such as table sugar, honey, agave and maple syrup, Krawczyk says.

Instead, consume nutrient-dense, high-fiber, complex carbohydrates, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains, such as quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.

This article appears in the summer 2023 issue of Cancer Care magazine.