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Reduce lung cancer risk? Pass on the puffing, not the potatoes

A study out this month made splashy media headlines announcing a link between carbohydrates and lung cancer


​By Tyler Smith, UCHealth

A study out this month made splashy media headlines announcing a link between carbohydrates and lung cancer.
 
A CNN headline breathlessly wondered if carbs are as bad as cigarettes when it comes to lung cancer.
The news certainly seemed worrisome. The study by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers suggests an association between glycemic index (GI) – a measure of how much carb-containing foods increase blood glucose – and increased lung cancer risk. High-GI foods include white rice, white bread and potatoes.
 
The study of nearly 2,000 patients concluded that the risk of lung cancer in the 20 percent of patients with the highest GI diets was 49 percent greater than the 20 percent with the lowest GI diets.
 
Before you swear off mashed potatoes, the data have to be put in perspective, says Stephen Malkoski, MD, PhD, a pulmonary and critical-care specialist with University of Colorado Hospital.
 
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