We all know that our health depends on what we eat. Our diet consists of different varieties of food items which are prepared and processed using different methods. During the preparation, storage and processing various changes occur to the naturally obtaining foods and some of these changes are damaging to our body cells. There are many food items which are considered as carcinogenic or which act as cancer causing agents and hence are to be avoided completely, if you want to enjoy a healthy life for a long time. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of the modern age and diet plays an important role in causing cancer, apart from other factors such as genetics, exposure to chemicals and life style. To avoid cancer risk one should have basic knowledge about the food items that are harmful to our body. Most of the mouth watering foodstuffs available in the market are actually carcinogenic and hence a careful selection of food is necessary to protect ourselves and our family members from the risk of developing cancer. The top ten foods which are cancer causing are discussed here.
1. Processed Meat
There are different methods used for processing and preserving meat.
- Smoking, salting, curing, pickling and chemical preservatives are the common methods used to preserve meat.
- Processed meat items like bacon, hot dogs, sausages, packaged ham, pepperoni etc contain preservatives which make them appear as fresh.
- Sodium nitrite and nitrate are the preservatives which are commonly used and these preservatives are found to be carcinogenic. These preservatives increase the chances of colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.
According to World Cancer Research Fund, the consumers should avoid eating processed meats to protect themselves from cancer.
2. Smoked And Burned Food Items
One of the major food items liked by people is the barbequed foods.
- Smoking and barbecuing produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These chemicals increase the risk of cancer.
- Studies have shown that eating burned or charred food items increases the chance of pancreatic cancer by about 60%.
- Cooking the food items at high temperature causes the production of chemicals such as hetero cyclic amines which increases the chances of bowel or gullet cancer.
3. GMO Foods
The development of biotechnology has led to the increased production of genetically modified organisms for food purpose.
- There are genetically modified vegetables, fish and poultry which are produced using chemicals which promote rapid growth of tumors in humans.
- The genetically modified corn, tomatoes, potatoes, soybeans, canola, salmons poses threat to our health and hence should not be considered as cancer –free diet.
It is necessary to execute caution while purchasing food items. Select food items which are certified as non-GMO foods or organic foods which are produced using natural methods.
4. Sweetened Beverages
Sweetened and carbonated beverages like soda and other drinks sold commercially have high levels of refined sugar, added color and preservatives.
- Scientific studies have proved that people who consume more than two servings of soda per week have 87% more chance of developing cancer of the digestive system.
- The excess sugar present in these beverages provides the best medium for the cancer cells to grow as they provide all the nourishment for the tumor cells.
- Chemicals present in soda such as caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have been considered as cancer causing.
5. Foods With Artificial Sweeteners
In the modern day, people are more aware about the need for maintaining healthy weight and in order to achieve this they depend on various diet foods and beverages which claim to be sugar free.
- These foods and beverages which contain artificial sweeteners are more dangerous than the refined sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Saccharain and Sucralose causes different health related problems including cancer.
6. Contaminated Produce
- Most of the conventionally produced fruits and vegetables are contaminated by the use of pesticides.
- The most contaminated food produce includes apples, grapes strawberries, oranges and potatoes. More than 90 % of the samples tested found to have pesticide residue.
- Pesticides, as such, are toxic to humans and the chemicals in the pesticides increase the risk of cancer and lowered IQ in children.
- You should buy fruits and vegetables which are organic or with pesticide-free label.
7. Fried Food Items
Fried items like chips and crisps contain chemical called Acrylamide which may cause cancer in humans.
- French fries are cooked using oils containing trans-fats which are unhealthy for the heart.
- Frying food items in re -heated oil releases toxic aldehydes which causes cancer and other neurodegenerative diseases.
- Most of the fast food outlets use re-heated oil to fry potatoes and other items.
8. Microwave Popcorn
This is another food to be avoided to prevent cancer.
- The lining of the microwave popcorn bag contain perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) which belongs to a class of compounds that is linked to liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers.
- When the bag is microwaved, the chemicals vaporize and get absorbed by the popcorn, which will ultimately reach your body.
9. Canned Food Items
- Most of the canned food items contain preservatives which may react with the can material.
- The lining of the cans contains bisphenol-A which is proven to disrupt the normal hormonal activity of the body. This chemical is suspected to cause various problems including cancer.
10. Hydrogenated Oil
Hydrogenated oils are used for preparing the food which needs a longer shelf life.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils can change the structure of the cell membrane and make them more susceptible to diseases like cancer.
- These trans-fats are still used by commercial food manufacturing units. Check the food labels to make sure that they are free of hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Do you want to prevent the risk of cancer? Are you looking for the foods to be avoided to lead a cancer free life? Try avoiding the above mentioned food items and select only organic and pest free food items. Avoid artificially colored and sweetened food items. This will help to avoid the fear of developing cancer and lead a relaxed and quality life for many years.