Macrobiotics and Cancer: Sugar, Enzymes & Food Textures (5 of 5)


Verne Varona is a New York based health educator and a highly sought after speaker on health, fitness and motivation. This final article from the series, explores how cancer cells react to sugar, enzymes and food textures.

Cells With Killer Appetites for Sugar

From a dietary standpoint, the little that we know about cancer is that simple sugar (strong acid-forming foods) fuels cancer development.

Cancer cells are the first to take up blood glucose. This is the basis of a medical PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan.

Because malignant cells grow at a rapid rate, they end up metabolizing more sugar than normal cells. Diagnostically, this gives your physician a glimpse into how aggressive a tumour might be, or how its growth can be slowed by conventional treatment therapies.

Sugar Addiction

Unknown to many, is the hormonal havoc that concentrated and refined sugar plays with our system. And, our addiction for sugar is only growing. You can hardly buy a bag of cookies from a natural food market that do not contain simple sugar. They put a tuxedo on sugar by calling it “Evaporated Cane Sugar,” or, “Organic Raw,” but don’t be fooled!

In the US for example, simple sugars are put into packaged salmon, tomato sauce, beans, rice cakes, even rice and soy milk – and more – all to entice consumer dollars by catering to our national sweet-tooth. Sugar, in more secretive clothing, has crept back into the natural food market by now being advertised as, natural.

Animal protein and fat

Separately, excessive animal protein and fat has been implicated in a number of male cancers, including colon and prostate cancer. In essence, both extremes contribute to this condition. In fact, basic nutrition teaches that protein breaks down into amino acids, which are absorbed through the small intestine’s lining to enter the bloodstream. However, excess amino acids are actually converted to fats and sugars.

Digestive Enzymes

I have found that the addition of digestive enzymes, particularly for older individuals, often makes a positive difference in their absorption and appetites. Additionally, eating more frequently, maybe four smaller meals, as opposed to three during the day usually works better.

I often recommend a concentrated protein source (beans, bean products or small amounts of animal protein) sometimes twice daily, but in small portions, as this makes the meals more satisfying, along with 1 to 2 tsp. of olive or sesame oil prepared at low temperatures to their daily cooking. Miso soup can be a strong healing agent and intestinal restorative, as well. Variety helps avert boredom.

Textures & Tastes

Making sure that you have a variety of textures and tastes in your diet will also help you remain food-inspired.

Textures, such as bland, creamy, chewy, dry, etc., and Tastes, such as, bitter, salty, sweet, sour and pungent can be an important part of meal preparation.

Look at the common western diet, it’s full of textures and tastes!  If you’re having a bowl of steamed dark leafy greens (bitter taste), mixing equal proportions of lemon juice (sour taste) a pinch of sea salt (salty taste)—diluted with a bit of water, can be used as a “sprinkle” over the greens to make such fare more appealing and satisfying.


  • During the conventional treatment, patients are rarely advised about the kind of diet they should eat and not eat. Be it research or consulting experts, what can you do to plan a healthy diet?
  • What steps can you take to replace the foods you love with healthy alternatives? How can you switch to healthy choices without completely compromising on your tastes?


Article adapted from the work of Verne Varona. For over thirty-five years, his lectures, workshops and media appearances have motivated thousands of people to take better and more conscious care of their health. He studied Oriental Medicine and Macrobiotic principles at the East West Foundation of Boston, Massachusetts.

Verne co-created, The ODDS (Off Dangerous Drugs Safely) Program to reverse pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drug dependency with dietary and lifestyle guidelines. He has authored two books: Nature’s Cancer-Fighting Foods and Macrobiotics for Dummies.

More from this series

Title About the article
Part 1: Introduction As an adult though, I saw my health dramatically improve when I adopted balanced whole foods and macrobiotic principles. Today, I have more energy, clarity and endurance than ever before with normal digestion, allergy relief and increased immunity.
Part 2: How Cancer Occurs To address a multi-factorial disease like cancer, we need a multi-dimensional approach to healing and this is where Macrobiotics comes in.
Part 3: The Top 10 Self Healing Traits The healing journey is composed of many paths all leading to the same destination: the place where body, mind and spirit are resurrected.
Part 4: The Role of Food in Healing Because food becomes part of our blood chemistry influencing our entire physiology, we should examine the role that it plays in restoring health. Essentially, food helps our body prevent and overcome disease in four ways
Part 5: Sugar, Enzymes & Food Textures From a dietary standpoint, the little that we know about cancer is that simple sugar (strong acid-forming foods) fuels cancer development. Cancer cells are the first to take up blood glucose.


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