I’m not a fan of using scare tactics, but I think this is a pretty important message. According to an article by Sarah Bruning, posted on Woman’s Health website (read the article here) :
A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, people whose diets included a large percentage of high-glycemic foods (think: white bread, potatoes, refined/processed foods) saw their risk for lung cancer (the number one cancer killer of women) soar by 49 percent.
You may have heard about the low glycemic diet, and if not for yourself, then certainly as it relates to diabetics (though I would argue the benefits of following a diabetics diet), and hopefully you understand that this very important index is what separates the good carbs from the bad.
In fact, I’m a little upset that the title of the article simply said “Carbs” with no such delineation. It’s important to make this distinction so that you know how to remove the dangerous ones from the truly good ones with tremendous health benefits.
Generally speaking, the good variety has fiber, which slows the digestion process and prevents blood sugar levels from spiking. This avoids the body’s natural insulin response, which is why it’s important for diabetics. Insulin also promotes fat storage, which is why it’s bad for anyone else (among other things, as this study proves). Higher fiber carbohydrates include a wide variety of vegetables and whole grains. However, please learn to read nutrition labels, the whole wheat bread you buy may just be a refined flour product, which doesn’t have the appropriate levels of fiber to consider it a ‘good carb’.
And the new link to cancer? According to Sarah Bruning:
Higher levels of insulin can then spur an increase in proteins called insulin-growth factors, which have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing lung cancer.
A quick google search will get you a full list of foods with their index rating (higher is worse), but also be aware that the true measure of a food’s quality would be it’s glycemic load, not necessarily the index. The difference? The load considers the volume carb contained in the food, rather than just how quickly the carbohydrate metabolizes. For example, watermelon has a high glycemic index, but a low glycemic load, simply because it’s over 90% water. The sugar contained is so diluted that it will do little to spike your blood glucose level.
Click here for a quick lesson.
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