In the last decade, much research has emerged suggesting a link between dietary carbohydrates and cancer. More recently, a group of researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discovered a connection between carbohydrates and the development of lung cancer. Family caregivers can use the following information to decide the best course of action in terms of nutrition and their older loved ones’ health.
Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load
The glycemic index scale rates foods from 0 to 100. Many types of carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index (GI), meaning they cause a rapid spike in blood sugar when consumed. The higher the rating, the quicker the food transforms into glucose in the blood and raises insulin levels. High insulin levels trigger growth factors in all body cells, including cancerous ones. This may increase the growth of cancer cells because, unlike normal cells, malignant cells require a steady supply of glucose to thrive. However, glycemic index is only half of the picture. Charts also typically list a food’s glycemic load along with glycemic index. Glycemic load indicates the amount of actual carbohydrate content. Foods with ratings of 20 or above raise blood sugar levels faster than foods with a glycemic load of less than 20.
Findings from the Study
The researchers compared a large sample of people with lung cancer to individuals without lung cancer and discovered subjects who had the highest daily GI intake were up to 49 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than those with lower values. These findings were most prominent in individuals who had never smoked. While there are likely many other health factors at play, these results reinforce how critical a balanced diet is to good health.
A professional home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals that boost his or her health. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
While ice cream has a relatively low glycemic index of 38, the food isn’t as healthy as a slice of watermelon, which has a glycemic index of 72. The latter also has a lower glycemic load, as watermelon is mostly water. Carbohydrates that have both a high glycemic index and load include baked goods, pasta, white rice, and sweet foods. They also have virtually no nutritional value. Healthy carbs include whole grains, beans, lentils, and starchy vegetables. Caregivers should substitute foods with higher glycemic indexes with more nutritional foods that have fewer carbohydrates.
In McKinney, homecare providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To combat the onset of lung cancer, caregivers can help seniors by preparing nutritious meals. Diets containing a large amount of fruits and vegetables decrease the risk of developing many different types of cancer. A diet rich in produce combined with lean forms of protein supply all the daily vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed to have sufficient energy and encourage cell growth and reproduction while inhibiting cancer.
Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of McKinney live-in care. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call Home Care Assistance today at (972) 548-0392 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.