Health + Fitness
Cancer Causing Foods That You Should NEVER Eat!
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially in developed and developing countries. Cancer has affected all kinds of demographics of the world; rich and poor, young and old, men and women, and so on, are all affected either directly or indirectly. Moreover, it places a great burden on their families, societies and the patients themselves.
Yet, research shows that many of the cancer cases could have been avoided and can still be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle or by taking the right immunization and precautionary supplements to fight against cancer-causing agents.
Cancer refers to the spread of mutated cells or abnormal cells that grow an alarming rate spreading the mutation and infection. The main point to focus on is that these cells cannot control their growth and hence, this is why cancer spreads. There are several types of cancers known to man, with the most common being prostate, colon, and lung cancer in men and breast, lung and colon cancer in women.
Each cancer is thought to have been caused by one abnormal cell that spreads and multiplies into the rest of the bodies system. The main causes of cancer are:
• Chemicals- These include harmful carcinogens from tobacco, smoke, and even workplace fumes etc.
• Age- As you grow older, your cells’ ability to defend against cell abnormalities decreases and you become more prone to viruses and infections.
• Lifestyle factors- The risk of cancer increases tenfold due to obesity, lack of physical activity and even alcohol.
• Radiation- Exposure to radioactive materials over time can develop unwanted mutations in your cells.
• Infections- People who are infected with deadly viruses such as hepatitis, or HIV have a much larger risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
• Genetics- A poor genetic structure that is carried down could result in abnormal mutations and cancer as well.
The number one cause of cancer deaths is by lung cancer for both men and women of all ages. Consequently, the number one cancer causing factor is through smoking and inhaling of poisonous fumes.
Coming in a close second is the diet and lifestyle trends of an average person. Your diet can either help accelerate the spread of cancer or cause cancer itself such as stomach cancer. That is why it is important to know which foods are your enemies when it comes to battling and avoiding cancer. Here is a list of all cancer causing foods and some tips for protection against such foods.
Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
Big industries and large corporations have monopolized and mechanized the way we produce crops and foods. As a result, the industry practices unnatural and unhealthy processes that allow farmlands to produce a higher yield of crops. However, the price we pay for this higher yield is that our food is now full of harmful chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins that can cause diseases. GMOs account for the greatest number of foods that will make you sick and foods that will harm your body. In addition, Glyphosate – a type of pesticide – that is normally sprayed on crops has been linked to birth defects, intestinal discomforts, and gastric cancer.
The best way to protect yourself against these cancer causing foods and crops is to look for produce with ‘GMO-free’ labels or labels that say ‘organic’.
The most commonly used grocery item is also the most common culprit in foods that cause cancer. Refined sugar refers to sugar that has gone through a series of processes including bleaching, polishing, etc. to make it look like the white crystals we are so commonly familiar with. Not only is refined sugar dangerous because of the unnatural processes involved in its production, but because it is essentially indirectly a GMO created product – created from modified sugar beets – that has negative side effects on the insulin and blood sugar levels of an average person. Various hospitals and research organizations have warned that these refined sugars feed cancer cells.
Refined sugar also exists in other products such as soda. Fructose is one of these types of sugars and is one of the most serious instigators of cancer cells. The fructose compound or syrup contains caramel coloring which is a carcinogen. The soda itself causes acidity in the body which in turn causes the cancerous cells to grow.
To prevent and avoid this disease causing food, a highly recommended option would be to switch to organic sugar substitutes such as organic honey, coconut sugar or even sugar from maple trees.
More specifically, hydrogenated oils are harmful to your body. Hydrogenation is a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquefied oils to make them more solid and durable. The process can be used as a complete or partial process, and partially hydrogenated oils are especially harmful as they carry large amounts of trans fats which are basically the worst kind of fat you could consume.
The most common types which are available in every grocery store are vegetable oils. These vegetable oils are chemically extracted, treated, and undergo processes where more chemicals are added to alter the smell and taste of the product. The oils are loaded with a type of fat known as omega-6 fats that can change the structure of our cell membranes.
You’re the best option would be to switch to olive oil which is easily available all over the world. Aside from olive oil other substitutes include coconut oil or organic butter.
These meats include bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs, frozen and microwaveable meat dishes, sausages and even smoked meat. These processed meats according to the University of Hawaii, “have been shown to increase the risk of pancreatic and other related cancer by 67 percent.” Another research has shown that most of these processed meat items contain sodium nitrite. This chemical is added when processed meat goes through several steps such as salting, curing, fermenting, or preserving by adding preservatives and additives. These steps are taken by meat packing industries to increase the shelf life and inventory turnover of their stock of products.
The drawback for the health of the average consumer who buys these products is that the chemical preservatives and additives such as sodium nitrite can actively increase the risk of Leukemia, one of the worst kinds of cancer. The World Health Organization reported that “eating the equivalent of four slices of bacon daily raises the risk of getting colon cancer by 18 percent.
The best option moving forward is to look for meat products that are uncured, not artificially flavored and are preferably organic. That is the livestock is grown and nurtured naturally.
Aside from alcohol generally being harmful to your health it is the second highest abused product to cause cancer, the first being tobacco use. But because it is widely portrayed as a refreshment drink, it falls under the category of cancer causing foods. There is some truth in the fact that moderate amounts of alcohol such as red wine can actually lower the risk of heart disease, however, red wine is just one of the many forms of alcohol that is being over-consumed around the globe. The WHO have concluded that “extreme use of alcohol is the main cause of mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, and even female breast cancers.”
When alcohol is ingested our body metabolizes the ethanol in the drink to acetaldehyde – a toxic chemical and carcinogen – that can damage the DNA and proteins in our system. Moreover, alcohol impairs the body’s ability to break down and absorb different kinds of nutrients and minerals that could potentially work as antioxidants or help in the fight against cancer. Another risk caused by alcohol to women is that alcohol increases the blood levels of the estrogen hormone that could potentially raise the risk of breast cancer.
Doctors highly recommend abstaining from alcohol products altogether, however, for those consumers who are part of a community or society where drinking is a cultural habit, it would be better to switch to lighter drinks and wines with less alcohol content.
The refining or refinement of flour refers to the process or processes where traditional flour is made to look, taste and function like the conventional grocery item used all over the world in baking. When flour undergoes this process, the nutritional value of the product itself is being eradicated as well. After its supposed refinement flour is bleached with chlorine gas to make it more aesthetically appealing. That’s right the same chlorine compound used to clean swimming pools, are in the flour we consume daily as well.
Moreover, the glycemic index for white flour is very high as well. This causes your insulin and sugar levels to spike every time you consume white flour. As a result, the insulin imbalance causes excessive sugar levels in your blood stream from the carbohydrates consumed through white flour products. The simple sugars in your blood stream are – as mentioned before – the best fuel source for cancerous cells in your system.
The best bet moving forward would be to invest in whole wheat or organic flour products and ensuring that any baked products you buy have low glycemic index.
It’s hard to think that this popular movie night snack could be one of the cancer causing foods in this list, yet, studies have proven this to be true.
The harmful aspect of microwave popcorn comes from the microwavable bag itself. The bag is laced with a chemical compound that slowly decomposes and has been linked to liver and pancreatic cancer. The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency has stated that “there is a certain acidic compound in the bag linings which is a most likely carcinogenic that has been linked to causing tumors.”
Aside from the bags the contents of the bags contain their own health risk. The corn itself is soaked in preservatives and artificial additives. The butter and other flavorings are all chemical compounds that have adverse effects on the stomach and cholesterol levels in your system. After popping the corn and opening the bag consumers tend to unconsciously inhale the fumes from the bag, including the fumes of the artificial butter present in the popcorn. This artificial butter contains a dangerous chemical that is especially harmful when inhaled and causes an effect on the lungs known as ‘popcorn lung’. This condition is a known precursor to lung cancer.
There are ways to avoid ‘popcorn lung’ and the other harmful effects from popcorn. These include popping corn the old fashioned and organic way, which is, using fresh corn and a stove top.
Fish is a popular choice for gym and health enthusiasts. It is high in protein and omega 3, which is good for the heart. The most obvious choice of fish in the consumer market today is Salmon, and to meet that demand industries have begun the farming of salmon specifically to meet the demand of the originally freshwater fish.
The farming methods are unnatural and have led to overcrowding of the fish which has caused odd effects on the meat and the product itself. The first effect is that of the color of the fish meat. The farmed fish’s meat is not the traditional reddish-pink hue, so they treat it with chemicals to ensure the color of the meat, and if that does not work, the color dye is used to ensure the end result. Aside from the unnatural coloring, the fish is treated with antibiotics which have chemicals that are known carcinogens and aggravators of pancreatic cancer. Moreover, the farmed salmon severely lacks nutrients and minerals such as vitamin D and Omega 3 that are usually found in freshwater fish. Other studies have revealed that farmed salmon contains high levels of mercury which increase the risk of mercury poisoning and is also a well-known cancer causing chemical.
To avoid the cancerous farmed salmons, check and read labels on salmon products that will inform you about the source of the product. Make sure you’re buying freshly caught salmon and not farmed salmon.
Although the reasons as to why these foods are considered as cancer causing foods and disease-causing foods have been made clear, it is still difficult to comprehend how such products can cause something so life changing and dangerous. The important point to review from this is that you should try your best to be vigilant against cancer causing foods where possible to the best of your abilities. For example, you can start by decreasing your alcohol intake, switching to organic foods where possible and so on.
It is clear that not all these products can be easily avoided. There is no need, however, to worry about the effects they may have, since these effects happen due to abuse, overindulgence and over the passage of time. A healthy lifestyle that includes exercising, taking vitamins, going regularly to the doctor, and generally looking after your health can help negate the effects of the cancer causing foods.