sugar addiction

Eating Right Helps Fight Illnesses

Eating Right Helps Fight Illnesses

Guest Post By: Jackie Clark

I have had a personal experience in losing weight. As of right now I have lost 30 pounds by balancing healthy eating and exercise. I set another goal for myself and that is to lose 8 pounds by the end of August. My weight has always been my greatest challenge, but a year ago I realized that it didn’t have to be. I control what I eat and how I want my body to look. It was time to stop eating out of boredom and time to take back my body.

Diet is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet can help solve numerous medical problems including losing weight and overcoming illnesses like cancer and mesothelioma that is triggered from asbestos exposure. A well balanced diet can provide you the right balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs to properly function. To understand about how diet affects you, there must be an understanding of what nutrients and vitamins are and how they help the body.

Carbohydrates provide the body with immediate energy as some of the digested sugars are immediately absorbed into the blood stream. Carbohydrates are a source of glucose and therefore the body’s main energy source.

Protein is the nutrient that helps the body grow and repair itself. It provides the body’s cells with amino acids to use for cellular growth and repair.

Fats provide more calories per gram than carbohydrates or proteins. The body needs a small amount of fat storage to use when it needs extra energy that your daily caloric intake did not provide.

A good diet contains a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. About 50-60% of your diet needs to consist of carbohydrates, 15-30% should be from proteins and only a small percentage, 10% or less should be from fats.

Your body also needs the proper amount of vitamins and minerals to maintain health. Vitamins essential for good health include:

Vitamin A- for maintaining good eyesight
Vitamin B- for energy and metabolism
Vitamin C– for repairing your body and boosting your immune system
Vitamin D- for healthy skin and calcium production

Essential minerals include the following:

Iodine- for proper hormonal production
Sodium- key for a good functioning nervous system
Calcium- for health teeth and bones and muscles
Iron- for the production of blood cells and hemoglobin

Your Diet and Weight Loss
Weight gain or weight loss is a simple concept. If you take in more calories than you burn then you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you take in then you lose weight. Eating a balanced diet with the proper percentages of carbohydrates, proteins and fats will help maintain a healthy weight. Try to limit foods high in fat and only occasionally eat fried food or fast food. Eat several meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. Skipping meals will cause your body to store more of your next meal as fat because it will be in starvation mode.

Illness and Diet
Having a proper diet helps people with illnesses like cancer. Specifically, those with mesothelioma need every advantage to fight their mesothelioma life expectancy. The correct amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals can help those with mesothelioma to repair their bodies and give them energy for their daily activities.


Jackie joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2009 as research assistant after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in fitness and nutrition. Jackie’s experience in technical and medical research has allowed her to oversee all web content production and authoritative processes. Jackie has earned the esteemed HONcode accreditation for reliable and verified health information on the web. Jackie supervises a team of medical writers and produces much of the website’s content for mesothelioma cancer and related health and wellness outreach efforts.

Check out her blog at: Jackie’s Arc. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

QUESTION: Do you have any personal experience with food curing an illness?

Fruit and Sugar

My battle with food is really a battle with sugar. It’s less about battling food, cravings and temptations and more about trying to resist the hold SUGAR has on me.

Put a bag of chips in front of me and I can walk away without feeling any twinge. Eat a piece of cheesecake in front of me and I might gnaw off your arm to try and get to it, though. The same goes for fruit. I love fruit. When I buy the packages of fresh strawberries at the grocery store that package lasts about two days tops. Blueberries? Gone in a day. recommends no more than 100 calories a day in sugar (for women).  “However, suggests eating a diet rich in foods with naturally occurring sugar, such as fruits, because they provide your body with essential nutrients. Adults should get at least two to three servings of fruit every day.” 100 calories in sugar a day? That’s one banana! Yikes!

Since I eat a lot of fruit my sugar intake is usually pretty high. Last year I consulted with a nutritionist to see if how I was eating was good. She said I was doing well and that I shouldn’t care about the sugar content in fruit because fruit is healthy and a good part of a healthy diet.

The good news: I get most of my sugar from fruit. For example, for my morning snack yesterday I ate a small Gala apple (80 calories, 17 grams of sugar) and for the afternoon snack I had a Chobani Black Cherry Yogurt (150 calories, 21 grams of sugar). I usually have plain yogurt but had some cherry I needed to eat.  That’ s a lot of sugar but the apple is healthy in my book. It’s GOOD sugar.

The main reason I disliked the Four Hour Body Diet experiment that Michael and I did recently was the fact that I could not eat any fruit on the diet. I hated this. It was too hard for me. I LIKE fruit. I stand firm in my belief that fruit is GOOD FOR YOU.

Fruit is supposed to be healthy. It is healthy. But it’s also pretty high in sugar. I found a list detailing what fruit is lowest and highest in sugar. This was quite eye-opening for me. I suppose I just assumed all fruit was the same. And fruit was healthy, so who cares? The reason I care is that I’ve been noticing lately that I feel differently when I eat certain foods.

I consider my diet to be nutritious, well-rounded and healthy 90% of the time. I shouldn’t be concerned about the FRUIT I eat however, I noticed recently that I crash hard when I eat bananas.

As a runner I loved bananas. I’d eat them pre-run and be happy. I never put two and two together when I’d become HUNGRY mid-run. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I complained on my blog (and Twitter) about bananas making me hungrier than other things. The answer? SUGAR. Apparently bananas are super high in sugar:  sucrose, fructose and glucose. No other fruit contain more digestible carbohydrates than bananas.  Why does this matter? If I eat a banana without protein and fiber (peanut butter works for me) to slow its digestion, I am getting an insulin spike. The insulin spike is to deal with the sugar from the carb-rich banana and it tells my body that I am hungry. Bad idea when I’m mid-workout and ready to crash from hunger!

The following is the list I found detailing the sugar in fruit.

Fruits Lowest in Sugar

  • Lemon and Lime
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries

–>So happy that raspberries and blackberries are the lowest in sugar. Two of my favorite things in the summertime!

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar

  • Strawberries
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Apples
  • Guavas
  • Apricots (fresh, not dried)
  • Grapefruit

Fruits with Medium-High Sugar Content

  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Pineapple


Fruits with Highest Sugar Content

  • Tangerines
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangoes
  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Dried fruit (raisins, dried apricots, prunes)

–> Man! Bananas, grapes and cherries are my favorites! And they are the highest!

I’m still going to be eating fruit, and a lot of it. If I’m craving sugar and my choices are a high calories dessert or a bowl of cherries? I’m going to try and pick the cherries (hey I’m human, I like REAL dessert once in awhile). I AM going to rethink bananas though. I’ve been slowly buying less and less bananas to eat as snacks because of what it does to my body.

QUESTION: Do you notice a change in your body when you eat high sugar fruits? Do you avoid these things?