According to medical experts, cancer is a complex set of numerous diseases. The main causers can be: poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of physical activity, smoking, genetics, infections, environmental exposure to radiation and chemicals, etc. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, around 20% of cancer cases in the U.S. are associated with poor diet, lack of physical activity, obesity, and excessive intake of alcohol.
In order to reduce the risk of cancer, one should lead a healthier diet rich in fruits and veggies, avoid smoking, exercise on a regular basis, and maintain a healthy weight. Below, there is a list of the worst 8 foods that contribute to the creation of cancer:
- Sugary foods
Foods rich in refined sugar and fructose like corn syrup may lead to numerous health problems because they increase the level of insulin and speed up the growth of cancerous cells. In 2006, the American Society for Clinical Nutrition journal pointed out that people who ate a lot of sugar had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Instead of refined sugar, consume honey, Stevia, maple syrup, molasses, and jiggery.
- Red and processed meat
These types of meat contain a lot of salt and a study has also shown that intake of too much meat may lead to colorectal and prostate cancer, especially red meat. Avoid processed meat and eat only meat coming from grass-fed cattle.
- Smoked and pickled foods
The process of smoking leaves toxins in the meat whereas pickled foods contain nitrates that transform into N-nitroso which is known to cause cancer. These foods contain a lot of preservatives in order to prolong their shelf life. Unfortunately, excessive intake of these foods may damage the cells and lead to cancer.
- White flour
Refined flour contains too much carbohydrates and studies have shown that women who consumed a lot of carbs had an increased risk of breast cancer and white flour also increased the level of sugar in the blood. Opt for quinoa, whole wheat, barley, and almond flour instead of white flour.
- Hydrogenated oils
When processed, these oils become poisonous. In order to prolong their shelf life, manufacturers add omega-6 acids and trans fats as well. Excessive amounts of these acids can damage the cells and cause health problems, like skin, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer. Opt for coconut, olive, or palm oil.
- Microwave popcorn
Bad news, popcorn lovers, this snack contains a chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid and studies have shown that it increases the risk of kidney and bladder cancer. Other studies pointed out that this chemical can lead to infertility in females.
- Farmed salmon
There is a huge difference between farmed and wild salmon, i.e. the wild one is healthy and nutritious whereas farmed salmon increases the risk of cancer due to the presence of cancerous ingredients in it like dioxins, flame retardants, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls.
- Potato chips
They’re processed under excessive heat which causes the release of a known carcinogen-acrylamide. According to the International Journal of Cancer, potato chips can lead to ovary, breast, digestive, and prostate cancer. This snack may also lead to obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol since it has a lot of fat, calories, and salt. Instead of store-bought chips, prepare your own chips at home with organic potatoes and olive oil or baked apple or banana chips.