We do know enough now to make eating choices that lower our risk of cancer. In fact, we know that for people with typical American diets, waiting for more information before making any changes is increasing their risk of cancer.
It’s true that research on diet to lower cancer risk is a hot area with many questions still to be answered. That’s why it’s important when making changes to make your decisions on guidelines based on the overall body of research. Trying to act on each new study that makes headlines can make you feel like you’ve got whiplash… not a wise approach.
Eating foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can make your blood sugar rise higher and faster after eating. Theoretically, that could cause unhealthy levels of hormones like insulin, which seem to promote development of some cancers, including breast.
However, research suggests that glycemic index by itself has little to no relation to breast cancer risk.
An analysis of 19 studies found no link between breast cancer risk and diets high in GI beyond what could occur by chance. Even glycemic load (GL), which takes portion size of foods into account, showed no significant link to breast cancer risk. The links were not consistent and could reflect other qualities of those diets. Another analysis that included only studies with a stronger design that follows people over time (called prospective cohort studies) found a weak five to six percent increase in breast cancer risk when comparing diets at the very highest to the very lowest glycemic index or glycemic load, respectively. Read more… “Do foods high in glycemic index increase breast cancer risk?”
Diets high in fruits, vegetables and other foods with fewer calories per bite may lower an older women’s risk of breast cancer compared to women who eat lots of high calorie-dense foods, suggests a new study. The findings suggest the link is independent of overweight and obesity, a risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer.
In this study researchers looked at energy density, the amount of calories in a certain weight of food, typically a gram. Cakes, ice cream and other foods heavy in oils and added sugars are high in energy density. Low energy-dense foods are higher in water and fiber, making these foods generally lower in calories for every gram. Vegetables, fruits and many unprocessed grains are generally low in energy-density.