The Top Ten Foods That Increase Cancer Risk
These days it seems as if you can’t get past a news report or newspaper article without finding a story about a cancer-causing food. The list seems to keep on growing, and as such, we begin to become numb to the endless scolding, telling us, “Don’t eat this, don’t eat that,” so much so that the effects and seriousness of the situation is lost.
This is unfortunate, as there are several foods that should definitely be avoided if you wish to significantly lower your risks of developing cancer. While some foods are more dangerous than others, these are, in our opinion, the top ten on the list. The list cannot possibly be comprehensive, but if you cannot stop eating everything bad for you, at least start with these.
1. GMOs—Currently one of the most talked-about and controversial foods topping the list is GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), which can be in any number of products you currently own without you knowing it. Until stricter food labeling items are put in place, it is up to the consumer to due their own research in order to discover which foods may contain GMOs or not. Recent studies have revealed that GMO ingredients, as well as the chemicals they absorb before the crops are harvested, can significantly increase the risk of cancer and cause tumors to grow. Keep in mind that many of the GMO seeds are designed to allow for crops that are resistant to herbicides like glyphosate and other pesticides that are known to cause cancer, compounding the problem.
Read “Pesticides in Cancer: When One Part in a Trillion Makes a Difference” to see how glyphosate residues in GMO corn may be present in all kinds of processed foods that we eat everyday.
Often people ask, are organic foods non-GMO? Chances are that is a product is certified organic, that the growers are also using seeds that are non-GMO, although it cannot be said for certain. It really depends on the seed source.
You can easily avoid GMOs by eating products with the certified organic label.
2. Charred meats and other charred foods—barbecued foods have been a hot topic lately, but it should be noted that health advocates aren’t saying to avoid anything grilled. Instead, you should avoid eating any pieces of meat or other foods that have become charred. Charring foods causes them to create a carcinogen substance that can increase the risk of cancer. Smoked foods should also be eaten in moderation.
Read Our Earlier Article of Grilled Meat and Colon Cancer.
3. Red meat—Following on grilled foods, much of which is red meat, this food should also be eaten in serious moderation, and several health advocates say not at all. If you must eat red meat, new studies show that it is better to cook the meat to a medium rare or medium temperature, rather than well done as was advised many years ago. This, however, remains a controversial subject. Our Hope4Cancer Medical Team recommends our patients to focus on eating wild caught ocean fish and vegetarian options for their protein intake.
4. Processed Meats—These products, such as sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and many lunch meats, are typically high in fat, but that isn’t the worst of it. Processed meats typically contain a host of chemical preservatives that have been known to increase the risk of various types of cancer. You should be especially wary of eating any processed meats containing sodium nitrate and/or nitrite, which have been known to cause colon cancer. Specialized grocery stores sell meats such that are nitrite-free that are much healthier to eat.
5. Soda—As refreshing as a soft drink may be, most sodas contain a wide array of chemical ingredients that are unhealthy, and have been linked to many other diseases asides from cancer. Soda is essentially comprised of sugar, corn syrup, aspartame, caramel color, and artificial ingredients and chemicals that have no business being in your body.
6. Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners—It shouldn’t come as any surprise that sugar is on the list. Sugar can increase the growth of cancer cells, in addition to causing insulin levels to rise. Many foods today contain sugar, even ones you wouldn’t expect to find it in, so it pays to read the ingredients label on all food items. And you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking artifical sugar substitutes are any safer—learn what they are so you can avoid them: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose are some of the more common ones.
Do not stop consuming carbohydrates though! Carbohydrates are an essential food group. But try to get most of your carbohydrates from complex carbohydrate sources such as multi-grain bread, fruits etc.
7. Diet foods—Many foods labeled as diet foods simply replace fat and sugar with chemical ingredients designed to maintain a good taste without the bad ingredients. Unfortunately, the new ingredients are just as bad, if not worse, as fat and sugar. Chemical additives and preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and many others. If something doesn’t sound natural, take the time to look it up; your body will thank you for it.
Another huge problem of many diets is that they recommend emphasizing more on some and less on other food components, causing an imbalance in the diet. Steady weight loss, if needed, is best accomplished by eating a balanced diet and calorie management through portion control, as well as improving metabolism by incorporating regular exercise.
8. Trans fats—A lot of foods make a point today of stating that there are no trans fats. Also known as hydrogenated oils, foods that still contain this ingredient should be avoided. However, when in a restaurant, it can be difficult to tell if the French fries you have ordered as a side with your meal contain trans fats or not, and even if you ask, who knows if you’ll receive the truth? Trans fats are bad because they can actually alter cell structure, leading to an increased risk of cancer as well as other diseases.
9. Non-organic fruits—Unfortunately, we live in a world where most crops are sprayed with chemical pesticides, and so nearly all fruits, unless certified organic, can potentially contain chemicals used in pesticides that have been linked to cancer. Most of us are not lucky enough to have an abundant variety of fruit trees in our backyards and must rely on others to grow them for us. Simply washing your fruit isn’t enough—in the case of fruit, it pays to buy organic.
10. Farmed salmon and other farmed fish—You might have thought that purchasing farmed salmon was a good, healthy thing to do. Unfortunately, this may not be the case, as farmed fish may not contain the same healthy ingredients as wild-caught salmon. Additionally, several studies have shown that farmed salmon is also high in chemicals related to PCBs, pesticides, antibiotics, and others that can cause cancer.
“This article reflects the opinions of the author and those of any of the source articles and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. None of this information is evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.”