Your Daily Bagel Habit Might Be Killing You

by Gillian Fuller
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Here in New York, bagels are king — it's a citywide obsession.

Whether it's made into a breakfast sandwich, topped with melted cheese and pizza fixin's, or rainbow-hued and covered in birthday cake cream cheese, New Yorkers make bagels better than anyone else — and we feel no shame in indulging our carb love on the reg.

Unfortunately, our bagel addiction may come with a terrible side effect (and I'm not talking about bagel belly).

Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently conducted a study analyzing the effects of a high glycemic diet on one's cancer risk.

They found eating a diet rich in high glycemic foods — including potatoes, pasta, and yes, bagels — may increase a person's lung cancer risk by up to 50 percent.

For the study, the researchers compared the diets and lifestyle habits of 1,905 cancer patients to those of 2,415 healthy people. Those who reported eating a high glycemic diet, they determined, were 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer.

Interestingly, this link seemed to be stronger among non-smokers — meaning that it's unlikely external factors played a role in the lung cancer diagnosis.

According to the researchers, it all has to do with the way in which high glycemic foods are metabolized. Because they're composed primarily of simple sugars, high glycemic foods prompt the body to produce high levels of insulin during digestion. This causes cells in the body to expand, and having an abundance of these super-sized cells puts one at a greater risk for developing cancer.

It's unclear why the lungs — and not the stomach or bowels — are seemingly more impacted by the effects of a high glycemic diet.

If you want to read the study in more detail, you can right here. But as far as I'm concerned, ignorance is bliss — and cancer be damned, I'm going to have my bagel and eat it too.

Citations: All Those Bagels Might Be Giving You Lung Cancer (Gothamist)