Tuesday, January 5, 2010

sugar and the immune system

After I found out about my mom's cancer, I realized that I really want to crack down on eating and cooking healthier. I mean, I know I already eat pretty healthy and most of the recipes I've posted thus far, are heavily plant-based and super nutritious. But I want to take it a step further. I definitely eat too many sweets and I've learned that cancer cells feed on sugar. That's right. Too much sugar and you're really fucking up your system. Sugar raises the bodies insulin level, which in turn messes with the pancreas to release more insulin to level out the blood sugar levels. Stressing out your pancreas is not good. This lowers your bodies ability to ward off diseases. And simple sugars also raise the release of growth-promoting hormones. Research shows that high levels of these hormones can increase the growth of cancer cells. Therefore it's important to eat complex carbohydrates that provide nutrients, unlike simple sugars that are just crappy empty calories that give you a rush of energy and then a major crash. No good.

I used to think I wanted to open a bakery. An endless supply of sweets and confections. Cakes covered in simple sugar fondants, tarts glazed with refined cane sugar and cookies loaded with corn syrup chocolate chips. Not healthy. However, having a bakery that serves nutrient rich treats flavored with natural sugars like unrefined can sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar or fruit juices is more my style now. I don't know if I'll ever actually open a bakery, but I can at least start perfecting my more health conscious desserts and keeping them in moderation. Damn, moderation. What a difficult concept!


  1. Your points are well taken, and amen to no corn syrup--EVER!--but I imagine that you'd have to eat a ton of sugar, refined or otherwise, to activate the growth of cancer-causing hormones, so I hope you're not obsessing about this. Nevertheless, natural sugars are the way to go, and you've got the know-how and skills to make it happen if you wanted to open a vegan bakery.

    Remind me to give you the article from the Daily News that Larry was talking about last night on Erin McKenna, who's the chef/owner of Baby Cakes NYC, a vegan, gluten-free bakery on the Lower East Side. Some of her recipes, like Meyer lemon and Bing cherry cupcakes and lemon poppy teacake, sound delicious. She looks to be about your age.

  2. Hello Dre! I found this blog in foodista and followed it here. This is a lovely blog and I find it very informative. I just want to add that sugar isn't the only thing that can promote cancer cells. Cancer cells are confused cells which are supposed to be dead cells but won't die. They feed mostly on proteins because it is the only nutrient that can promote mitosis (cell division). By the way you can place more foodista widget in your past and future blogs so that other foodista readers can follow and see your blog too. I hope to read more from you. Cheers!