You may know that optimal health begins in the kitchen, but did you know that diet is the root cause of many types of cancer?
The truth is that it is believed that up to 70% of cancers can be prevented with a healthy diet. The other 30% has to do with environmental and genetic factors that you cannot control.
However, those are solid odds to encourage better eating! Stay with us for all the foods you would do best to avoid to minimize your chances of developing cancer.
In the end, we’ll show you a simple way to determine what things are really good to eat.
10. French Fries
French fries are unhealthy as they contain a lot of salt and also saturated fat which is overwhelming for your body’s digestive system.
The main reason they increase the risk of cancer is something known as acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical that is produced whenever food is cooked at higher temperatures.
Frying potatoes produces a lot, however it is also the main reason health experts advise against burning meat during cooking. Acrylamide can also be found in cigarettes and is part of the reason they are so deadly.
9. Canned goods
Canned foods tend to contain fairly high levels of salt and sugar, but that’s not the main reason they’re bad for you. It is really the cans that contain the food.
(Also read: 10 Worst Foods With Rheumatoid Arthritis)
They are usually related to the dangerous chemical BPA, which is a known hormone disruptor that has also been linked to cancer. BPA will leach into any food that comes in contact with it, especially ones that are naturally acidic, like tomatoes.
Eat your produce fresh or even frozen, or just buy canned goods that are labeled BPA-free.
We’re not telling you something you don’t know when we say soda is bad for you. Sugar is important in small amounts, but it’s also a favorite food for cancer cells, just as soft drinks contain enough to drown a horse.
Plus, it has no redeeming nutritional value and also puts you at higher risk of cancer as a result of the artificial colors and chemicals that are added. If it’s a caffeinated energy boost you need, a much healthier option is lightly sweetened coffee or tea, both of which have anti-cancer properties.
To get the bubbly in your soda without the ill health consequences, buy carbonated water and squeeze a dash of citrus drink for flavor.
7. Smoked And Processed Meats
Red meat in general should be limited due to its high fat content, but any meat that has been processed is best avoided almost entirely. That won’t be easy because there are so many tasty items on the list, including bacon, lunch meat, sausage, jerky, and smoked barbecue.
Many of these foods are preserved with nitrites and nitrates, which are linked to cancer. And while smoking is an ancient method of preserving food, it causes the meat to tar in the process. It’s terrible on cigarettes and just as dangerous on food.
6. Microwave popcorn
Just like canned foods, the problem with microwave popcorn is how it’s stored. Most microwavable bags are lined with a product known as PFOA, which is linked to pancreatic, bladder, liver, kidney, and testicular cancers.
When you pop popcorn in the microwave, PFOA coats the finished product along with the artificial “butter” with trans fats. However, the popcorn itself can be a healthy snack if you use an air popper and then simply mix it with a small amount of garlic-infused olive oil or perhaps a tasty blend of dried herbs.
5. Farmed salmon
You may be wondering what’s left of what you can eat, especially in terms of protein, but rest assured, fish can still be a really healthy option. Naturally lean, it contains high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that your body really needs.
Unfortunately, farmed salmon lead overcrowded and stressed lives and are also fed an unnatural diet full of antibiotics and cancer-causing chemicals. As a result, their meat is high in mercury, dioxins, and PCBs, almost all substances dangerous for human consumption.
Wild sockeye salmon is a whole different story though, and a fantastic food option if you can find it on the market.
4. White flour
Whole grains are extremely healthy, but the processing that goes into refined white flour detracts from their value entirely. White flour is also given its color using a blast of chlorine gas, something you wouldn’t want to eat.
Aside from being nutritionally zero, white flour has an incredibly high glycemic index, which means that it is broken down into sugar in the human body, raising blood glucose and insulin levels along with it. This particular state in the human body is believed to fuel cancer cells. Try to choose baked goods that use whole wheat flour..
3. Pickled foods
Pickling is an additional type of processing that adds nitrites or nitrates, salt, and artificial color to foods. In the same way that too much alcohol can cause cancer in the parts of the body it directly touches, pickled foods are linked to cancer of the digestive tract, especially the stomach and colon.
If you really like pickles, take the time to make them at home to ensure you can control the salt level and avoid artificial pickling solutions.
2. High fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup is certainly dangerous because even though it comes from natural corn, the sweetness is extremely concentrated. Foods that contain it are more likely to send blood sugar through the roof and create the best environment for cancer cells to thrive.
It is not thought to cause cancer directly, however it is dangerous to create conditions in your body that are ideal for cancer to develop. Avoiding packaged cooking and foods at home may be the most effective way to avoid high fructose corn syrup altogether.
1. Hydrogenated oils
You might assume that oil from vegetables should be healthy, but this is another case where processing natural products makes them unsafe. The oil cannot be extracted from whole vegetables naturally, so they undergo a chemical extraction process.
The oil is then colored and the natural aroma is removed to make the final product look attractive. This type of chemical process is what causes the oil to become hydrogenated.
Found in most processed foods, it is added for texture and also for preservation, but hydrogenated oils affect the flexibility and structure of cells, increasing the chance of cancer.
Could you feel the common thread in these cancer-causing foods? Yes, they are all highly processed from their natural form to something more convenient or pleasing to the eye.
Unfortunately, processing always strips any food of its nutrients and also adds a level of seasoning with sugar and salt that could be quite harmful to human bodies.
The best way to cancer-proof your diet is to focus on buying whole foods at the store and cooking at home so you can manage processing. When you leave the packed stuff behind, you can be sure you know specifically what’s going on in your body.