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Carbs more likely to cause cancer for non-smokers

Sarah is a lifestyle writer and travel blogger who can often be found loitering in a cafe with a pot of tea and a good book. Over the last eight years Sarah has lived and worked abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain and Colombia and has tr...

White bread, potatoes and fruit linked to increased risk of lung cancer

From SheKnows Australia

A study out of the University of Texas has confirmed every food lover's worst nightmare: Carbs could increase the risk of cancer. And not just any cancer — lung cancer.

Just when you thought lung cancer was reserved for chain-smokers, the study has gone and ruined everything for the rest of us non-smoking folk.

Researchers found that the risk of developing lung cancer grew to 49 per cent in people who ate a lot of foods with a high glycemic index.

This affects the person's blood sugar levels and increases glucose and insulin, which has been linked to a higher risk of lung cancer.

More: 9 super-easy hacks to swap carbs for cauliflower (VIDEO)

The types of foods that have a high glycemic index include almost anything high in carbohydrates, including potatoes, white bread, various cereals and even some fruit.

As if that wasn't horrifying enough, according to the study, the risk of developing lung cancer increased for those who don't actually smoke.

Does that mean it's time to ditch pizza, bread, pasta and potatoes? Well, not exactly.

Scientist Megan Meyer says the research doesn't have enough evidence to support its claims about the correlation between high glycemic index and lung cancer.

"Researchers measured diet only at one specific moment in time, so we can't tell if the dietary reports are indicative of long-term eating patterns," Meyer said.

More: Melbourne dad is risking his health by eating only potatoes for a year

She was also concerned that the study included only one very specific sample group — Caucasian adults from Texas.

"That makes it pretty inappropriate to apply to a diverse population without any additional research," she said.

Without ruling out carbs from our diets altogether, there are some healthy choices we all can make to ensure we're getting the best out of our food.

If you are going to eat carbs, make sure they are high-quality varieties that aren't highly processed.

The study found no link between the quantity of carbohydrates consumed and lung cancer, but rather the quality of what was eaten.

So instead of using white flour, swap it for a wholemeal variety. And opt for muesli instead of the processed sugary cereals.

Lung cancer is one of the top five most common cancers in Australia and made up more than 9 per cent of all diagnosed cancers in 2015.

As well as drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking and exercising, it looks like eating fewer foods with a high glycemic index might be beneficial to maintaining a healthy body as well.

What do you think? Will you be changing your diet? Let us know.

More: Why your diet makes you so grumpy

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