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Carbohydrates and Your Gut Health

Posted on September 04, 2014 by Ruth Buttigieg | 0 comments

The nation’s diet is a constant topic of debate within the media. The current obesity epidemic has been linked to a higher risk of cancer occurrence within the population. So what has diet got to do with it all?

The current ‘Western-style’ diet is made up of energy-dense, nutrient-poor food items, that are not complementary to the needs of the body for optimal health. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome as well as heart disease have all been linked to lifestyle, making one’s food choices all the more important.

What’s the Science so Far?

A research paper published in July, looked at the effect that refined carbohydrates have on the gut and how it can contribute to colon cancer. What the researchers found was the bacteria in the human gut, upon consuming these carbohydrates, produced a chemical that encouraged the growth of colon cancer cells.

When comparing the effects of a high carbohydrate diet vs a low sugar low starch diet, the researchers found this latter approach reduced the growth of colon tumour cells.

These results continue to build on previous studies that have shown a link between a high carbohydrate diet and colon cancer.

So what changes do you need to make to your diet?

Here at NLCS embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress and minimal hormonal disruption.

Studies continue to show that basing your food choices on items that contain more dietary fibre, help to decrease the risk of colon cancer as well as other chronic conditions.

A quick glimpse at a low-carb meal plan one can notice that it is balanced, natural, low in trans-fat, low in sugar and low in salt. It also provides omega 3 and 6, and essential amino acids. It is full of food containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, as well as fibre. A diet high in protein has also been extensively proven to alleviate satiety in individuals as well as bringing about other health benefits.


The NLCS way is about being healthy and making the right choices. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you make an informed decision.


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Bingham, S., Day, N., Luben, R., Ferrari, P., Slimani, N., Norat, T., Clavel-Chapelon, F., Kesse, E., Nieters, A., Boeing, H. and others, (2003). Dietary fibre in food and protection against colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): an observational study. The Lancet, 361(9368), pp.1496--1501.

Habib, A., Richards, P., Rogers, G., Reimann, F. and Gribble, F. (2013). Co-localisation and secretion of glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY from primary cultured human L cells. Diabetologia, 56(6), pp.1413--1416.

Kant, A. (2000). Consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods by adult Americans: nutritional and health implications. The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988--1994. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 72(4), pp.929--936.

Michaud, D., Fuchs, C., Liu, S., Willett, W., Colditz, G. and Giovannucci, E. (2005). Dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate, sugar, and colorectal cancer risk in men and women. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers \& Prevention, 14(1), pp.138--147.

Slattery, M., Benson, J., Berry, T., Duncan, D., Edwards, S., Caan, B. and Potter, J. (1997). Dietary sugar and colon cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers \& Prevention, 6(9), pp.677--685.

Zelenskiy, S., Thompson, C., Tucker, T. and Li, L. (2014). High Dietary Glycemic Load is Associated With Increased Risk of Colon Cancer. Nutrition and cancer, 66(3), pp.362--368.

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