Researchers in a new study reported on Tuesday at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting in San Diego that people who consume a lot of processed carbohydrates, think snack foods and sweets and sugary drinks may face heightened risks of breast and prostate cancers.
According to Webmd, given that breast and prostate cancers are two of the most common cancers in the United States, the connection gives more reason for people to cut processed foods from their diets, a lead researcher Nour Makarem has said.
Makarem, a Ph.D. candidate in nutrition at New York University said, “The carbohydrate quality of your diet matters for a number of reasons.”
In general, health experts already recommend limiting sugary drinks and processed carbohydrates, and eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, fiber-rich whole grains and “good” unsaturated fats.
Makarem added that the new findings, though considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal adds more weight to that advice.
She pointed, in particular, to the link her team found between sugar-sweetened drinks (both soda and fruit juice) and prostate cancer risk. Compared with men who never drank sugary beverages, those who had them a few times a week showed more than triple the risk of developing prostate cancer.
According to a report in the Telegraph of UK, Swedish scientists who carried out similar research and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tracked the health of more than 8,000 men aged 45 to 73 for an average of 15 years.
All were in good health when the study began, and were asked about what they liked to eat and drink.
Those who drank more sugary drinks were more likely to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer by the end of the study.
Isabel Drake, a researcher at Lund University, said: “Among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks, we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 per cent.”
The scientists who carried out the study said that while genetics were more important in determining the likelihood of developing prostate cancer than was the case with many other cancers, diet did seem to be important.