Eating Healthfully to Avoid Cancer

I have lost a number of friends and acquaintances to one hideous form of cancer that seems to be rearing it’s ugly head too many times – pancreatic cancer.

Steve Jobs died of this despite every ounce of money and treatment at his disposal. Others I know had treatment, but in a matter of time, we lost them anyway.

It seems that everywhere you turn, there is research to support this healthful diet or that one, but none that I ever heard of to avoid pancreatic cancer.

Although in every healthy diet I read about these days, there always seems to be one enemy in common with them. And this happens to be the thing you must avoid to keep a healthy pancreas. This item happens to be my very best friend, food-wise.

SUGAR.

It was suggested that the reason there is more incidents of this type of cancer is because there is hidden sugar everywhere in our foods. Just about every product these days contains corn-sugar or high fructose corn syrup or some other form of sugar if not the white stuff itself.

There is no way I could be on a life-long South Beach diet and have virtually no sugar. I am known to start my meals with dessert for heaven’s sake. “Life is too short, start your meal with dessert” is my mantra. But then again, do I want to purposely shorten my life by eating so many sweets?

I have to admit, I vary wildly between healthy eating and downright appalling eating behavior. I have been known to make a dinner of baked Cheddar Cheetos.  Sometimes I get on this tear where just about every food choice I make is unhealthy or immature.

I am the worst when I am on vacation. To me it is an all-out splurge, and I binge on sticky buns (you can’t get them in Houston and I miss them) and ice cream just about every night. (and sometimes even on the beach too!) My sugar quotient in my diet skyrockets on vacation.

And then there are weeks that go by where I am the model eater. Fish, lots of green leafy stuff, lots of veggies and fruit and tons of water. I love fish, I love kale, and spinach, broccoli and asparagus.

(By the way, a diet to specifically avoid pancreatic cancer besides being one low in sugar is high in Vitamin K. Kale and spinach, broccoli and asparagus are super high in Vitamin K)

But the program I watched pointed out two horrendous substances that if limited can protect our bodies from pancreatic cancer. ( A doctor on this program explained it and I will do my best to do the same)

It just so happens that one is a complete non-entity in my world: Soda. If you can believe this, for my fiftieth birthday, I went to this spa where you do nothing but cleanse your system with wheat-grass and colonics. Yes, I volunteered for that. (Don’t ask.) I also attended seminars there and one was particularly poignant about the evils of soda on the human body – both diet and regular. So I gave up soda from that day forward: cold turkey. It was tough because at the time I was addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. Whatever they said, and I can’t remember it, must have scared me half to death to be determined not to drink soda any longer. If I can do this, so can you!

So at any rate, this pancreatic doctor specialist said that by drinking two or less sodas A WEEK, we can avoid messing up the pancreas. (You read that right, you need to trim down to TWO or less sodas in a single week) Between my love of Kale and my avoidance of soda, I would hope that those healthy habits counteract my sugar binges and put me at lower risk. If I can give up soda, so can you! It’s not easy but after a while you don’t miss it at all. (no more bloating from carbonation!)

The other item to avoid or do in extreme moderation to avoid pancreatic cancer: Alcohol. There is a tremendous amount of sugar in alcohol, and then if you are like me and enjoy Mojitos and Margaritas, there is excess sugar beyond the sugar in the alcohol. Lucky I limit this treat to once or twice a week.

Now in wine, what to do? One day you read it is healthy and the next you read it is bad for you. I love wine with a meal but the way my life is these days, I only partake on the weekends.

One other ounce of prevention involves vigilant dental hygiene. It seems gingivitis, and mouth bacteria can lead to cancers down the digestive tract. Get teeth cleaned professionally twice a year and floss and brush nightly. (I love my powerful water-pik)

So there you have it- your hot flash for today and this week:

Eat lots of Vitamin K veggies like Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and Asparagus.

Limit sugar.

Avoid soda, especially non-diet soda. More than two a week and it creates more insulin that your pancreas can handle.

Limit alcohol.

It’s my goal to reach the century mark in my life in good health, so I guess I better get busy in weaning myself off my love of sugar.

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