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Can the Carbs We Eat Cause Lung Cancer?

Nutrition experts have been telling the public that refined and processed foods are unhealthy. However, a recent research study performed by the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center scientists reveal that consuming these foods may also lead to lung cancer. Here’s what Albuquerque at-home care providers should know before feeding high-carb foods to seniors in their care.

The study involved more than 4,000 adults, more than 1,900 of which were diagnosed with lung cancer. The research team obtained extensive information from each volunteer, which included dietary intake, lifestyle factors, medical history, level of physical activity and a history of smoking. Detailed dietary assessments determined the typical amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins according to portion size and type of foods eaten. The carbohydrates consumed were evaluated according to the glycemic index. 

Researchers compared the dietary data of all of the participants. They learned that individuals consuming diets consisting of foods high on the glycemic index had a 49 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer. Strangely enough, these people did not have a history of smoking. Smokers consuming a diet consisting of foods that are high on the glycemic index had double the risk of developing lung cancer compared to smokers who ate healthier. 

Research leader Xifeng Wu theorized that foods containing a high-glycemic index have the greatest impact on raising blood sugar and stimulating insulin production and release. An increase in insulin provides more fuel to cells, which then use the nutrition to reproduce. Insulin also stimulates the release of insulin-like growth factor. The hormone benefits all cells but has also been linked to lung cancer. 

The study did not differentiate between the amounts of high-glycemic carbohydrates that were consumed, rather the team only focused on the quality of the carbohydrates. With this in mind, merely limiting the consumption of these foods may not provide enough of a safeguard against developing cancer. However, the team expressed that further studies would provide more specific information. 

If currently care for a senior with lung cancer, there are resources you can turn to. Home Care Assistance provides flexible live-in and hourly home care in Albuquerque to help seniors manage their illness in the comfort of home. Our trusted caregivers offer transportation to and from cancer treatments, personal care assistance, and emotional support to enhance our clients’ care. Schedule a complimentary consultation today by calling 505-798-0800 and speaking with an experienced Care Manager.