Extra-Depressing New Study Links Carbs to Lung Cancer

No, not gluten!
No, not gluten! Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

The list of awesome foods linked to cancer has increased yet again. The newest addition is … basically anything carb-heavy. Researchers with the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center say they found the risk of lung cancer jumped 49 percent in people who eat lots of foods with a high glycemic index. The higher a food’s GI, the greater its effect on blood sugar. The resulting uptick in glucose and insulin spikes the body’s insulin-like growth factors, proteins that have been linked to a greater risk of lung cancer. So, by eating high-GI foods like cornflakes, white bread, potatoes, and even certain fruits, a person could be inadvertently upping their chances of lung cancer.

Subjects with the highest GI levels in their bodies were 92 percent more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma than the group with the lowest levels. In another majorly depressing stat, researchers also say the link increased among people who avoid cigarettes: The risk for smokers only climbed 31 percent between the group with the lowest GI levels and the group with the highest. That doesn’t seem particularly fair, but in all honesty, neither does this: The authors note that a separate measure called glycemic load — how much a food will raise a person’s blood sugar by — had no associated risk. According to their paper, this means the link is about quality of carbs, not their quantity, so go crazy with the beans and muesli.

[Daily Mail]