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Eating Lots of Sugar and Starch May Raise Cancer Risk

New research suggests that high-carb diets might raise the risk of breast cancer. Women in Mexico who ate a lot of carbohydrates were more than twice as likely to get breast cancer than those who ate less starch and sugar, scientists found. They think carbs may increase cancer risk by rapidly raising sugar in the blood, which prompts a surge of insulin to be secreted. This causes cells to divide and leads to higher levels of estrogen in the blood, both of which can encourage cancer. This is one of the few studies to examine how the popular but controversial low-carb diet craze might affect the odds of getting cancer, as opposed to its effects on cholesterol and heart disease. In the study, women who ate a lot of insoluble fiber, such as that found in vegetables, had somewhat less risk of breast cancer. Fiber can modulate the absorption of carbohydrates.

It's important to note that not all carbs are bad. Eating vegetables is an excellent way to get nutrients, while focusing on sugar and starch is a surefire way to increase your risk of numerous diseases. The link between sugar and cancer is well established.

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention August 2004;Vol. 13, 1283-1289

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