Men take heed – stay away from highly processed carbohydrates to help lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. That was the findings from a study led by Nour Makarem, a Ph.D. student at New York University tracking health records of 3,100 participants beginning in 1991 and analyzing their diet through detailed food frequency questionnaires.
What the study revealed was that regular consumption of highly processed foods such as pizza, burgers, and lunch meat doubled the risk of developing prostate cancer. Sugary beverages like soft drinks tripled the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Glycemic Index influence
The glycemic index appeared to play a role as researchers found eating foods with a high glycemic index was associated with an 88 percent increased risk of prostate cancer, after accounting for multiple cancer risk factors.
The glycemic index is a system ranking food on a scale from 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood sugar levels. It measures how a carbohydrate containing food raises blood glucose or sugar. The foods are ranked bases on how they compare to a reference food – either glucose or white bread. A high glycemic food raises blood sugar more than a food with a medium or low glycemic index.
Go with healthy carbs
An important part of the study was that the type of carbohydrate food chosen appears to have an impact on cancer risk. Men who chose more healthy carbohydrates such as legumes, tended to have lower rates of prostate cancer. Healthy carbohydrates also known as complex carbohydrates to choose from include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, lentils, and peas.
The study also revealed that men with the highest carbohydrate intake had the highest consumption of foods considered healthy carbohydrates. This suggests that it’s the quality and not the quantity of carbohydrates that makes the difference.