Cutting carbs could thwart breast cancer
Just cutting carbohydrate intake a couple of days a week could help women lower their insulin levels, lose weight and curb their risk of breast cancer.
Researchers in South Manchester, England found cutting our carbs for just two days a week is better than some traditional dietary approaches for lowering the chances of breast cancer.
Obesity is a contributor to the disease, as is high insulin levels that accompanies too much weight.
Michelle Harvie, a research dietitian at the Genesis Prevention Center, at University Hospital in South Manchester, England, explains it takes a combination of reducing insulin in the body and losing weight to prevent breast cancer. Insulin is that a hormone secreted by the pancreas that keeps blood sugar levels in check,
Counting calories can lead to failure because it’s just too hard for most.
For their study, Harvie and colleagues asked 115 women to follow one of three diets:
- 1500 calories a day consumed from a Mediterranean diet
- A low-carbohydrate, 650 calorie diet two days a week
- Low-carbohydrate diet with unlimited protein and healthy fats, also two days a week
The diets were followed for 4 months. The low carbohydrate diets were restricted to less than 50 grams of starch on the two days the women dieted.
"We know people find it difficult to diet seven days a week, so we tried the two-day approach, which seemed to help women adhere. Many got into the groove and ate better on their off days, too," said Harvie.
As expected, more women from the calorie restricted Mediterranean diet dropped out of the study; 88 women completed the pilot.