Simple carbs up breast and ovarian cancer risk

February 22, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Simple carbs up breast and ovarian cancer risk

Women who eat a diet high in simple carbohydrates - instead of fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats - are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer.

Simple carbohydrates are found processed foods made with refined sugar and white flour such as cookies, cakes, cereal bars and sugar drinks. 

In this new study published in the International Journal of Cancer, 3,600 women with breast or ovarian cancer had their diets compared to 3, 413 healthy women of the same age. A detailed dietary questionnaire identified patterns in the women's diets.

Ovarian cancer risk was 23 percent lower in women who the most fruits and vegetables, as compared to those who ate the least of these foods.

Reduced risk of breast cancer was seen in women who ate a diet high in unsaturated fats from vegetable oils, fish and nuts.

In contrast, women who ate diets high in simple carbohydrates and sodium had increased risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

Scientists are still investigating the impact of dietary patterns, as opposed to specific foods, on cancer risk.

Previous studies have shown that limiting saturated fat from red meat, while eating more fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fat can decrease cancer risk.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime. 

To boost the cancer-fighting potential of your diet, snack on a crisp apple with a few almonds, instead of a cereal bar or commercial muffin.

For more delicious ways to prevent disease, check out Leslie Beck's Foods that Fight Disease.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.