Alarming research suggests that eating foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI) such as cereals, bagels, and white bread can increase the chances of developing lung cancer by up to 49%.
The study, which was published in an edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Journal, examined 4,320 people with various eating and smoking habits. Of this group, 1,905 had been diagnosed with cancer and 2,415 had no major health issues. The study revealed that non-smokers with a high glycemic index diet are more susceptible to lung cancer, as the results showed they were nearly 50% more likely to develop the disease than the study participants who consumed a diet low in GI food.
The research found that high GI foods, including potatoes and white rice, cause the human body to produce high levels of insulin and blood glucose, which causes insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) that are commonly linked to an increase in lung cancer risk.
The study also suggests the quality of carbohydrates, not quantity, is what is profound as certain high carb foods, like beans, are not mentioned.
“The results from this study suggest that, besides maintaining healthy lifestyles, such as avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption and being physically active, reducing the consumption of foods and beverages with high glycemic index may serve as a means to lower the risk of lung cancer,” said Dr. Xifeng Wu, senior author of the study, which was conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both the U.S. and the UK. While smoking is often considered the culprit linked to the disease, this research sheds light that it is in fact not the lone cause of lung cancer development.
Over 150,000 people will die from lung cancer this year, while 20% of cancer deaths in the UK will be caused by the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
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