Cancer causing foods are likely in your everyday diet and you didn’t even realize it. We recommend you look into sites like Thrive Market to purchase healthy food 30-50% below retail and learn more about what to avoid. Below you’ll see 10 cancer causing foods to avoid along with an helpful info graphic:
1. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils, like vegetable oil, contain trans fats. The Mayo Clinic says it’s considered to be the worst type of fat there is. It’s known to cause cancer, heart disease, and immune system problems says Dr. David Brownstein of News Mac Health. In fact, there is no safe amount of trans fats in your diet. Even the FDA has made a preliminary determination to say trans fats are not generally regarded as safe, like previously thought. You can avoid hydrogenated oil but instead choosing coconut, palm, or olive oil. Organic butter is a better option as well.
2. French Fries/Potato Chips
These fast food staples are fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil and then heavily salted. We’ve already discussed the dangers of hydrogenated oils, but the high salt content is also concerning. It increases the risk of high blood pressure as well as other health problems. In addition, foods heated above a certain temperature have high levels of acrylamide. According to the National Cancer Institute, acrylamide is found in cigarette smoke and industrial building materials, as well some foods. Both french fries and potato chips were found to have higher levels of this chemical that studies have shown increase the risk of cancer. Potatoes are also part of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” meaning they have some of the most pesticide residue of all the fruits and vegetables.
3. Microwave Popcorn
There is more than just kernels in most microwave popcorn. It contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which is a likely carcinogen. Dr. Andrew Weil sets the record straight about microwave popcorn, explaining artificial butter contains another dangerous chemical that can damage the lungs when inhaled. In fact, a couple of years ago a Colorado court awarded a man a $7.2 million settlement for “popcorn lung” which is a lung condition from inhaling too much microwave popcorn. To reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals, air pop your popcorn and add your own flavoring instead.
4. Processed Meats
Bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats have been shown to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67% a study by the University of Hawaii concluded. More shocking statistics shared by the Organic Consumer’s Association reveal hot dogs commonly contain sodium nitrite, a cancer causing ingredient the USDA has been trying to ban since the 1970s. Leukemia risks soared a staggering 700% with hot dog consumption. Look for meats free of nitrites to help reduce your risk with these cancer causing foods.
5. Red Meat
A brand new study confirms the belief that red meat increases cancer risks. In an article from the San Diego Union Tribune detailing the study, a sugar molecule, called Neu5Gc, becomes part of your own cells when it’s consumed. Your body then attacks it, resulting in inflammation and a higher cancer risk. Medscape reveals previous studies also show an increase in breast cancer among women who consumed more red meat. You don’t need to cut out red meat entirely. In fact, CNCA Health says just opt for grass fed organic beef, which contains conjugated linoleic acis that can actually fight against certain cancers. Also, keep red meat consumption to a minimum to further decrease your risk.
6. Farmed Salmon
If you are avoiding processed meats and red meat, you might find yourself eating more salmon. Well avoid the farmed version of this fish because a study at the University at Albany found it is often full of cancer causing contaminants such as pesticides, antibiotics, PCBs, and even flame retardants. Opt for the wild version instead to get the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids that salmon provides, without contaminants.
7. Refined Sugar/Soda
Refined sugar is a danger because not only is it typically GMO because it’s genetically modified sugar beets, but it rapidly spikes insulin levels. CNCA health warns this, in turn, feeds cancer cells. Fructose, the type of sugar found in soda, is a serious cancer culprit as well. It contains caramel color, a known carcinogen. Soda acidifies the body, which in turn causes cancer cells to multiply. Skip the sodas altogether limited your intake of refined sugars.
8. “Diet” Foods
If you see buzz words like “diet”, “low-fat”, “fat-free”, or ‘sugar-free” then those missing items are likely to be replaced with chemicals. Diet foods are loaded with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, and more. One artificial sweetener, Saccharin, was determined to cause cancer in lab rats, as the National Cancer Institute points out. As for food dyes and coloring, “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens, says CSPI. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.” Choosing the regular version of these foods in moderation is a better option than the diet conterparts.
9. Refined White Flour
Bleached food doesn’t sound like a good thing, because it isn’t. Traces of the chemicals remain in the food. Also, highly processed flours also have a high carbohydrate content which upset the blood sugar balance inside our body and leads to a higher production of insulin and thus feeds cancer cells. Avoid carbohydrates that are highly processed such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, soda & concentrated fruit juices to avoid this reaction in your body.
With no testing done by the FDA to ensure safety, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have made their way into the majority of our foods. These GMO foods have been modified to withstand heavy doses of a pesticide called glyphosate OR are engineered to contain a toxin that kills bugs. Not enough independent studies have been done to prove safety or danger, but independent testing has shown to cause rapid tumor growth in lab rats. Currently GMOs do not have to be disclosed on food labels in the US. In addition, Glyphosate, which is the most common pesticide sprayed on GM crops and an additional 200 crops, has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, birth defects, intestinal discomfort, among other things. The only way to avoid GMOs and pesticides is to choose foods that are certified organic.
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