Eating a diet high in poor quality carbohydrates has been linked to a variety of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic problems and heart disease. A recent study indicates that this type of nutrient may also increase a person’s risk for lung cancer. Here is what Palm Desert elder care providers should know in order to protect their loved ones.
Study and Findings
A study by the MD Anderson Cancer Center found that consuming a diet heavy of foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI) might increase the risk of lung cancer by up to 49 percent. The glycemic index is a measure of the body’s blood sugar response to any food. A high GI food causes a spike in blood sugar which, when consumed regularly, can damage the body’s insulin response and lead to insulin resistance. This may affect cell growth and subsequently increase cancer risk, specifically lung cancer. The researchers also found that overall glycemic load, or how many carbs a person consumes in a day, did not have as much of an impact as daily GI. This suggests that the quality of carbohydrates is more important than the quantity.
Implications for Seniors
Eating a diet low in high GI foods may decrease a senior’s risk for lung cancer as well as a myriad of other problems that seniors are already at an increased risk for. Some examples of high GI foods include fruit juices, instant oatmeal, white rice, white potatoes, and white bread. Instead, seniors should opt for whole fruit, steel cut oats, sweet potatoes, and breads made with sprouted grains. Likewise, seniors should ensure their diet contains plenty of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables in order to maintain optimal health.
While this study does not prove an exclusive link between carbohydrates and lung cancer, it underscores the importance of a healthy diet, especially for seniors who may be at an increased risk for cancers for other reasons. Caregivers should ensure their loved ones eat a healthy diet and limit high GI foods whenever possible.
To help your loved one maintain overall health and wellness, turn to Home Care Assistance of Palm Desert. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia home care Palm Desert families can depend on to help their senior loved ones manage illness and recover from injury in the comfort of home. Additionally, our highly trained and compassionate caregivers help seniors manage everyday activities including personal care, housekeeping, and companionship. Call (760) 345-0001 today to learn more about Home Care Assistance and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with an experienced Care Manager.