Study Links Refined Carbohydrates to Lung Cancer

Whether you're a non-smoker or not, you've seen the commercials, advertisements, and warning signs that smoking causes lung cancer. And you've probably known a smoker who developed lung cancer after years of a-pack-a-day habit. But does being a non-smoker mean you're not at risk for lung cancer?

No. Being around secondhand smoke may be even more harmful than actually smoking. But that's not the only factor that can raise your risk for lung cancer. In fact, new research suggests that the food you eat can raise your risk for lung cancer, even if you're a non-smoker.

In the study, researchers looked at the health histories of 4,300 people. Some already had lung cancer, and some didn't. When they excluded smokers with lung cancer, they discovered something surprising. They found that non-smokers who ate the most refined carbohydrates (white rice, white pasta, breads and cereals made from refined grains, white potatoes, etc.) were 49 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers who didn't overindulge in simple carbohydrates.

It's a pretty significant finding when you take a look at the typical American diet that includes a lot of refined carbohydrates. Why does eating a lot of refined carbohydrates cause lung cancer? Eating these kinds of carbs all high on the Glycemic Index causes massive highs and lows in blood sugar levels. This can lead to insulin resistance, which researchers believe promotes the growth of cancer-causing cells that can lead to lung cancer.

Want to cut your risk for lung cancer? Don't smoke, or quit if you do. And avoid secondhand smoke. Consider that your first line of defense. Then take a closer look at your diet. Eating fewer foods made from refined carbohydrates will help, too. A low-carb diet can help you control diabetes, manage your weight, and cut your risk for lung cancer.

And it's easy to go low-carb when you can have a meal ready in minutes. Check out our selection of 30-plus Low-Carb Meals.