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?”
You may have heard about our report yesterday on endometrial cancer: physical activity and coffee help protect against the cancer, but excess body fat and a high-glycemic-load (GL) diet increase risk.
I talk about what glycemic load means here – basically, it’s a measure of how much a food increases your blood sugar. But how would you know if your diet is high or low GL?
There are a lot of glycemic load charts out there that compare foods. However, using glycemic load to select your foods doesn’t mean you will necessarily have a healthful or cancer preventive diet. (Meats and fats don’t contain carbohydrates, so they are not even listed on the GL charts.)
So what should your plate look like to make it fit the low-glycemic-load and cancer protective recommendations? It looks a lot like our New American Plate. Here are four easy steps to making your plate fit a low-glycemic-load diet – all just by looking at your plate.
1. Put Plant Foods on Your Plate
Watery vegetables, whole fresh fruits, beans and legumes, whole grains and nuts are low to moderate GL and they’re packed with cancer-fighting vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
It was only in the past few decades that research found diet plays a role in preventing colon cancer. Now, a study suggests that colon cancer patients whose diets are relatively low in starchy foods and carbohydrates have a lower risk of recurrence and death compared to those eating a high carb diet.
The study builds on the authors’ earlier research that observed a link between an overall pattern of eating and recurrence among colon cancer patients. That study found patients who ate the most fats, meats, carbs and sugary desserts — a Western diet — were three times more likely to have their cancer recur compared to those whose diets were least Western.