Quality diet is always associated with the overall health and prevention of several diseases including deadly cancer. Several foods that we include in our daily diet may be cancer-causing. Surprised! Yes, most of us are regularly consuming foods that may cause cancer. Read on to learn more and avoid potential cancer-causing foods.
First things first! You need not go for a perfect diet from day 1, make healthy choices and try to make one or two changes to your diet at a time. Our goal should be to remove foods from the diet that may increase the cancer risk. Below is the list of potential cancer-causing foods. Check out!
List Foods That Might Cause Cancer:
1. Potato Chips or French Fries:
High salt concentration increases the blood pressure levels. They have high acrylamide levels as they are heated more than a certain temperature. As per the National Cancer Institute, acrylamide is found in industrial building materials and cigarette smoking and some foods, which are cancer causing (1).
Moreover, the potatoes belong to ‘dirty dozen; foods with heaviest pesticide residue. The trans fat present in the hydrogenated oils like vegetable oils is the worst type of fat that is cancer causing. So, opt for organic butter instead.
2. Microwave Popcorn:
Microwave popcorn contains PFOA/perfluorooctanoic acid that may be carcinogen (2). Microwave popcorn is loaded with artificial butter and the fumes released out contain the toxic compound diacytel that is associated with lung cancers (3). Experts explain that artificial butter has harmful chemicals that can damage lungs, when inhaled. Better avoid microwave popcorn and air pop your popcorn. Add your own flavouring.
3. Red Meat and Processed Meat:
All the processed meats, hot dogs, lunch meat, bacon, and sausages can increase the pancreatic cancer risk. According to the Organic Consumer’s Association, hot dogs contain sodium nitrate(4), a cancer-causing agent.
A study from the San Diego Union-Tribune revealed that Neu5Gc, a sugar molecule, becomes a part of your own cells when consumed. Decrease risk by decreasing red meat consumption or opting for grass-fed organic beef.
The problem is not because of the meats itself. It is due to the methods of processing these foods, which increases the cancer risk. Charred meat is highly dangerous. As during the process of grilling cancer-causing heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are produced.
4. Farmed Salmon:
Salmon is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and can help control weight when consumed in place of a high-fat protein source. Well, avoiding red meat need not make salmon an option as the farmed version of fish may contain cancer causing contaminants like antibiotics, pesticides, PCBs, and flame retardants. Farmed salmon has 16 times the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in wild salmon.
5. Refined Sugar/Soda:
Refined sugar is typically GMO as it is genetically modified sugar beets. Fructose found in soda is a cancer culprit (5). The caramel color is carcinogen, while soda acidifies the body that causing cancer cells to multiply. Limit the intake of refined sugars by skipping sodas.
6. Artificial Sweeteners:
If you are using artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute, then you are at increased risk of cancer. Instead go for natural sweeteners like plant-based, no-cal stevia. Research on potentially toxic artificial sweeteners is going on going on and it takes more time to get to know the results. So, it does not make sense to take a risk in between.
7. Excess Alcohol:
A lot of research have always linked alcohol with cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol consumption is associated with esophageal, neck, liver, colon, and breast cancer. Why risk your health, when it is a better habit to go dry!
8. Foods With Transfat:
Here is the list of foods with transfat, crackers, candies, cerelac, cookies, salad dressings, chips, fried foods, baked foods, etc. Apart from cancer, these foods are closely related to obesity and should be avoided as much as possible. So, make sure you do not include many transfat containing foods to the diet.
9. Salted, Pickled And Smoked Foods:
Preservative nitrate is used in salted, pickled and smoked foods. This nitrate can be converted into N-nitroso composites that are associated with high cancer-developing risks. Meat and nuts can absorb smoke and thus are called smoked foods and may contain tar found in cigarettes. These foods are believed to cause cancers like stomach and colorectal.
10. Processed White Flour:
White flour is the hudge culprit when it comes to cancer-causing foods. Majorly, the chemical bleaching of the flour with chlorine gas kills its healthy nutrients and makes it deadly. Also, the high glycemic rate in the white flur raises the blood sugar and insulin levels that lead to diabetes. So, give up refined grains like processed white
Flour. Say no to highly processed foods like white bread, white pasta, white rice, and concentrated fruit juices to avoid any reactions in your body.
11. Soft Drinks:
Any soft drink is full of sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients. More over the nutritional benefit is zero. Several studies revealed that 2 sodas every week can doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer. Why do you want to crave for it, when your health is much more important than the temporary temptation.
12. Diet Foods:
Be cautious when picking any food like “low-fat’’, “diet”, “sugar-free”, “fat-free” etc. They may mean that such foods are replaced with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and artificial flavours. According to the National Cancer Institute, Saccharin, an artificial sweetener, might cause cancer in lab rats. And Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, the three most widely used dyes are contaminated with known carcinogens. Hence, go for regular version of any foods instead of diet-version.
If you or your dear one is already a cancer patients, include the below listed foods to the diet, as the experts at the National Cancer Centre Singapore advise patients to eat right foods during and after the treatment for cancer.
- Tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, peas and turnips for fiber and vitamins
- Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower for plant chemicals that convert bad oestrogen
into good oestrogen
Bitter gourd to lower blood sugar levels
Green leafy vegetables for iron and calcium
- Oranges for Vitamin C
- Peaches, kiwi, bananas, pears, mangoes and strawberries for fibre and vitamins
- Guava, figs, avocadoes, apricots, raisins and prunes for energy
- Meat, fish, poultry, eggs for proteins
- Dairy products, nuts, dried beans, dhals
- Rice, noodles, wheat, wholegrain bread and pasta for carbohydrates
- Honey for anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
Avoid these foods as a cancer patient:
- Baked meats
- Deep fried foods
- Grilled foods:
- Barbequed foods
- Excess sugar, salt and oil foods
- Processed and red meat
- Preserved foods like jams, pickles, century eggs, etc.
- Alcohol and smoking
- Excess vitamin supplements.
Even though you should prefer quality diet and foods that do not cause cancer, it is also important to make other necessary changes in life to prevent cancer, like avoiding medication, exercising, toxin exposure, quit smoking or avoiding alcohol, controlling stress and resting enough.
In conclusion, every now and then we keep getting some news or warnings about cancer-causing foods. It gets so very confusing and threatening when it comes to selecting foods that are non-cancerous. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the foods that can cause cancer. More importantly, keep your diet simple with organic foods and simple preparation methods. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to cut on the possibilities of causing cancers.
1. Does Coffee Causes Or Prevent Cancer?
Many health benefits are linked to coffee consumption and its link with cancer. Many studies have been time and again proving the health benefits of coffee consumption. In Fact, coffee has cancer-fighting properties due to its rich antioxidant nature.
2. Does Drinking Hot Drinks Cause Throat Cancer?
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of WHO, very hot beverages can be classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC researcher wrote in an article in the journal The Lancet Oncology that drinking any beverage at or more than 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), cancer can be developed in the esophagus. According to the report, Coffee, tea or any hot beverages at or above the cutoff temperature have the potential to burn the esophagus and trigger cancer.
3. What Are The Five Main Causes For Cancer?
A: Five top common causes for cancer are:
- Smoking or Tobacco.
- Physical Activity.
- Any harmful radiation.
- Viruses and infections.
4. What Are The Top Cancer-Fighting Foods?
A: List of the top 10 cancer-fighting foods are:
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Colored Fruits and Veggies
- Organic Meats
- Fresh Herbs and Spices
- Nuts and Seeds
- Cultured Dairy Products
- Healthy Unrefined Oils