Bad carbs are processed foods and sugary drinks. Various studies have determined that these foods are linked to a significantly higher risk of developing cancer. Meanwhile, good carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables help prevent cancer.
Other foods that are considered bad carbs include:
The body needs good carbohydrates because your cells and tissues turn the glucose in food into usable energy. Healthy carbohydrates fuel important organs and systems like the brain, central nervous system, heart, kidneys, and muscles.
But unlike good carbs, bad carbs flood your body with excess glucose that is stored as fat. When your diet is full of bad carbs, your body becomes more conducive to the growth of cancer cells.
This study, which linked bad carbs with prostate and other cancers, referenced health records that tracked more than 3,000 people since the 1970s. The data organized the foods consumed by the participants by glycemic index and glycemic load, which measures carbohydrate quality based on their impact on a person's blood sugar levels.
The foods eaten by the participants were then compared with resultant cancer rates. According to the study findings, individuals who consumed the most high glycemic load foods had a whopping 88 percent chance of developing prostate cancer.
The researchers also found that eating foods full of unhealthy carbs "significantly increase the risk of prostate cancer," the second leading cause of death in men due to cancer-related conditions.
The research findings also revealed that people who consumed sugary drinks, such as sodas and sweetened juices, were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer. Those who consumed a lot of processed foods, such as meat sandwiches, packaged burgers, and pizza, had double the risk of prostate cancer. (Related: Soda Consumption Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer.)
Sugary beverages were confirmed as the worst bad carb foods, and they are now associated with an increased risk of cancer, along with being considered a major cause of the diabetes and obesity epidemics in the U.S.
In the same study, researchers noted that the participants who followed a diet that contained low-glycemic index foods such as fresh fruits, legumes, non-starchy vegetables (except corn and potatoes), and whole grains had a 67 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. The consumption of legumes were also linked to cancer prevention and a 32 percent reduced risk for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
If you want to maintain your overall health and lower your risk of developing various types of cancer, exercise regularly, avoid bad carbs, and follow a healthy diet full of nutritious foods and good carbs.