Foods to avoid for a lower risk of lung cancer

Medical science has progressed to the extent that there are now cures for most diseases. Despite this, the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ stands strong, making it extremely important for one to lead a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle changes like avoiding smoking, second-hand smoke, or any other form of inhalation of toxins, exercise, and meditation help one stay healthy. Aside from this, following dietary dos and don’ts is equally important to lower the risk of lung cancer. There are certain foods which are associated with high risks of lung cancer, and two main types of food groups you need to be conscious of are saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.

Saturated fats
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, those who had been smoking or recently quit the habit within the last ten years face an increased risk of lung cancer if their intake of saturated fats is high. The study comprised of data that had been collated from 10 studies and involved more than 1.4 million individuals, and about 18,000 lung cancer patients. Those whose consumption included higher saturated fats were at a much higher risk of lung cancer as compared to those whose intake was minimal. Also, those who ate any form of polyunsaturated fats frequently were at a lower risk of lung cancer as compared to those who did not. While the exact reason is still under research, the common consensus is that consumption of quality dietary fats improves the health of those who are currently smoking or have recently quit smoking.

Refined carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are composed of simple sugars that can increase the blood sugar levels in the body, which then lead to hormonal changes. This can end up acting as a trigger for chronic inflammation, which, over time multiplies the risk of cancer. A recent study reported in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal identified that those individuals whose diets contained high sugar content were at a higher risk of lung cancer as opposed to those who consumed refined carbohydrates within the normal limits. It is not that all sugars are harmful to the body. You need to obtain essential complex carbohydrates from sources such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, or fruits and vegetables. This is because these sources contain fiber which does not have any form of sugar, and helps in lowering the body’s cholesterol. The problem with processed carbs is that they lead to weight gain and increased susceptibility to health disorders. Moreover, foods that are high on the glycemic index can end up causing the risk of type 2 diabetes in addition to lung cancer risks.