People who eat a lot of these foods, according to a new study, had a 49% greater chance of developing lung cancer than those who ate a healthier diet.
Even non-smokers are at grave risk.
“Accumulating evidence suggests that dietary factors may modulate lung cancer risk,” Dr. Xifeng Wu, lead author of the study, said. “Diets high in fruits and vegetables may decrease risk, while increased consumption of red meat, saturated fats and dairy products have been shown to increase lung cancer risk.”
Those who ate more high-glycemic foods were twice as likely to develop lung cancer as non-smokers who ate a low-glycemic diet, according to this study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
“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 Wu, an epidemiologist and professor at University of Texas.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association.
“The risk is really high for never smokers,” Wu said.
It’s a combination of what doctors have been warning about: a sedentary lifestyle and too much red meat and poor food choices.
It may seem a stretch that a diet of chips and burgers could lead to lung cancer, but here’s how it breaks down: these carbs are high-glycemic, which causes blood glucose to rise.
In turn, that triggers the body to produce more insulin to convert that sugar into energy the body needs. It’s the next step that leads to the potential killer. The additional insulin causes an increase in insulin-growth factors, which are linked to a greater chance of developing lung cancer.
Scientists studied 1,905 people who had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. The control group was 2,413 healthy folks.
The group studied was non-Hispanic whites. Wu said that is the group for which they had the data. She added that additional studies need to be more inclusive, studying all races.
Those studied had their diets analyzed and it was those who ate foods with the highest glycemic index had the 49% greater risk of lung cancer.
It’s the kind of carbs we’re eating that matters, studies continue to suggest.
A separate research paper just published in BMJ Open found ultra-processed foods account for 60% of all calories consumed in the America and 90% of all sugar eaten.
These are foods with a lot of salt, sugar, oils, fats and additives, such as salty snacks, candy, packaged cookies, chicken and fish nuggets, reconstituted meat, instant noodles and soup.
This study reviewed the diets of more than 9,000 people from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Study.
“The high consumption of added sugars in the USA is most likely contributing to excess obesity, type 2 diabetes,” and a slew of other diseases, according to the paper.
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