It has now been confirmed through research that a high intake of starchy foods increases the chance of breast cancer to recur in breast cancer survivors. The results of the research project known as Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial were presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Some foods that contain a high percentage of starch in them are white rice, pasta, macaroni, potato, sweet potato/yam, cornmeal, ready-to-eat corn cereals, corn flour, wheat flour, spaghetti, and commercially prepared breads. (1)
Jennifer A. Emond, M.S. who is a public health doctoral student at the University of California, San Diego even goes on to point that it is not just carbohydrates as a whole, but starch in particular that pegs the risk. An increase in intake in just one year would make women who are breast cancer survivors more likely to have a recurrence of their disease.
The research enrolled 3,088 women, all of who were breast cancer survivors. Out of these women participants 2, 651 were put on the plant-based intervention. The study with its observation and follow up went for a period of 7 years. This subset of women were examined for how changes in their carbohydrate intake influenced breast cancer recurrence. (2)
The dietary intake of carbohydrates were taken for these women at the year of commencement of the project and then again after a period of one year. During the baseline year the average intake of carbohydrate was 233 grams per day.
Results showed that women whose cancer recurred had a mean increase in carbohydrate intake of 2.3 grams per day during the first year, while women whose cancer did not recur reported a mean decrease of 2.7 grams per day during the first year. (3)
It was surprisingly observed that of the change in carbohydrate intake by the participants, a good 48 percent was accounted for by change in the starch intake.
After making necessary calculations and adjustments, the researchers found that the rate of an additional breast cancer event was 9.7 percent among women who decreased their starch intake the most during one year.