Eating too many carbohydrates such as potatoes, bagels or cereal increases the risk for lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked, according to a recent study.
A high glycemic index, a measure of the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels, was linked to a greater chance for developing lung cancer, researchers at the University of Texas MD Andersen Cancer Center found.
Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men and women and is most commonly associated with smoking cigarettes. Previous research has shown that eating a lot of red meat, saturated fats and dairy can increase risk for the disease, however carbohydrates have not previously been associated with it.
While increased levels of carbohydrates can increase the risk, the researchers said the quality of carbohydrates, rather than the quantity, has the strongest effect. Foods such as white bread and puffed rice cereal are highly refined, which is why the researchers suggest swapping them out for whole-wheat or pumpernickel breads and pasta.