Say it ain't so! 

Everyone knows New Yorkers basically live off of carbs. For heaven's sake, we've got the best damn bagels and pizza in the country... who could blame us for eating one a day? 

Well, it looks like people who hit the carbs hard could be at a whopping 49% higher risk of contracting lung cancer than those who don't eat a carb-loaded diet. 

So put down that slice, and check out this study done by the University of Texas's MD Anderson Cancer Center

The study focused on how postprandial glucose (PPG) and insulin responses affected the development of lung cancer due to the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL).

What is the glycemic index? It's a numerical system that identifies the glycemic response, or rise in blood sugar. 

An easy way of thinking about it is whether or not the sugars can easily be broken down in the body. Carbs that can be broken down to glucose quickly have a higher glycemic index. 

What is the glycemic load? It is similar to the glycemic index, but this one refers to how much your blood sugar will rise, rather than how fast. 

According to Grub Street, people who eat foods with a high glycemic index (think white bread, pizza, bagels, pretzels, pasta, etc.) were 49% more likely to develop lung cancer than those that laid off the gluten. 


If that's not frightening enough, the study found that the subjects with the highest GI levels were 92% more likely to develop cancerous cells than those with the lowest levels. 

Ready for some more insane news? The risk increased in people who laid off the cigarettes. Smokers only saw an increase risk of 31% between low-GI levels and high GI levels. As a reminder, that risk for non-smokers was 92%. 

So what about that glycemic load? The study also goes on to state that it's not the quantity of the carbs that caused this link, but the quality of the carbs... meaning, glycemic load isn't a factor. 


To put that in more understandable terms, a plain white baguette has a a very high glycemic index because of how fast it can be digested, but a whole grain bread will take longer due to the fact that it's more difficult to break down in the body. 

But don't think people who have cut gluten are necessarily safer. Carbs such as white rice that are safe for those with gluten allergies have a high GI as well. 

If you needed anymore indication that it's time to start laying off the carbs, this study might do it for you. 

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[via Grub Street] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]