Food is considered to be the best medicine and the worst cause of disease at the same time. Eating the right food in appropriate quantity can help you lead a healthy life free from any major ailments.
Similarly, eating certain harmful food, especially in excess, can lead you to a life filled with health woes.
Understanding our body and its relationship with food can lead us to develop healthier eating habits. This can be achieved by understanding different food groups' composition and nutrient profiles and how they interact with our bodies.
Sometimes, we consume certain healthy food without realizing it and reap its benefits in the process. The opposite is also true, where we consume certain harmful food without realizing how badly it is affecting our bodies.
In this article, we look at 9 such everyday foods that might put you at risk for cancer.
9 Cancer Causing Everyday Foods To Avoid
Certain compounds are classified as carcinogens and are proven to cause cancer directly. They can be present in your food as well. Besides that, certain food items can lead to other health conditions, which can put you at risk for cancer. Some such food items are:
Most sodas are filled with high amounts of sugar and/or caffeine. They lead to elevated blood sugar levels for several hours upon consumption. Furthermore, they offer a whole lot of calories with negligible nutrition.
Regular consumption of sodas can lead to several health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and a damaged nervous system. All these conditions can increase your risk of getting cancer manifold.
2. Refined sugar:
Excessive consumption of refined sugar can significantly negatively impact various bodily functions. It can damage blood vessels and the nervous system over time. This leads to several issues like hypertension and neurological diseases.
3. Hydrogenated oil:
Hydrogenated oil is a type of oil used by several manufacturers to keep food fresh for longer. It helps sell certain edibles longer, which might otherwise not be possible. It is also preferred for its relative cost-effectiveness.
They are prepared by adding hydrogen to trans fat to make them solid. Despite the fact that trans fat is considered one of the worst types of fat, the resulting hydrogenated oils are permitted to be used in food manufacturing.
It has trans fat as the major ingredient, known to cause cancer, immunity disorders, and cardiovascular conditions. In fact, trans fats are banned by FDA for these reasons. Therefore, it is advisable that you avoid edible products that contain hydrogenated oil.
4. Processed meats:
Processed meats are considered to pose a risk for cancer due to the presence of nitrates and nitrites in them. These compounds are added to processed meats to keep them edible for a longer period. When cooked, these compounds can turn carcinogenic and increase your risk for cancer upon consumption.
They are thought to increase the risk of cancers like stomach, pancreatic, prostate, and colon cancer.
5. Fried food:
Fried foods like French fries, potato chips, fried chicken, and fritters are extremely harmful when consumed excessively. They lead to high cholesterol and can lead to cardiovascular conditions.
Fried food is also high in saturated fat and trans fat, which are considered extremely unhealthy forms of fat and can be carcinogenic. They lead to plaque build-up in arteries and can severely impact other areas of your life.
Alcohol is known to be metabolized by our body into certain compounds that can be carcinogenic. They are reported to increase prostate, stomach, and pancreatic cancer risk. Consuming about 3-4 drinks daily is reported to increase the risk of these cancers.
Excessive consumption of alcohol beyond this limit puts you at risk for further cancers in the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. All types of alcohol are linked to such health risks, and therefore, excessive consumption must be avoided.
7. Charred food:
Overcooking food can cause it to become charred and black in color. This leads to the formation of certain compounds classified as acrylamides. Such food is considered to be extremely unhealthy for the body.
Even in traditional cuisines, such food is considered unhealthy, and people are discouraged from consuming them. It is thought to be a carcinogen that should be avoided at all costs.
8. Canned food:
Canned food is processed with certain salts and other chemicals to keep them intact for longer. These food items can have adverse reactions in our bodies after consumption.
Therefore, it is advisable to prefer fresh produce and use canned food only in emergencies.
9. Red meat:
Red meat is widely associated with certain forms of cancer, like bowel, colon, and colorectal cancer. Higher consumption is especially harmful to older men as they are already prone to colon cancer.
Therefore, limiting the intake of red meat is advisable, especially for middle-aged men.
Fixing your diet can profoundly impact several areas of your life. It can affect how you deal with pre-existing conditions and prevent future health conditions from developing.
Furthermore, it can also positively impact your mental health by increasing your ability to focus and think with clarity. As a bonus, it has a positive cosmetic effect.
Therefore, understand your diet better to eliminate harmful food groups and increase the concentration of beneficial ones. Eat your way to good health!
1. Are there any foods that can reduce the risk of cancer?
Ans: Food rich in certain nutrients like phytochemicals, antioxidants, folate, vitamin D, and vitamin C is considered to be helpful in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Some food you can consume for this are cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, lentils, legumes, beans, nuts, and fatty fish.
2. What are the steps to take to reduce cancer risk?
Ans: Apart from fixing your diet, there are a few changes that you can make to your lifestyle that can reduce your risk of developing cancer. These include quitting tobacco products, reducing or quitting alcohol, avoiding too much sun, avoiding air-polluted environments, maintaining a healthy body weight, and being physically active.
3. Is it possible to cure cancer?
Ans: It is possible to cure cancer, but there is no blanket cure for it. The type of treatment depends on the type and stage of cancer. Some cancers are more easily treatable than others. Several treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, and surgery. Moreover, new treatments are being developed every day.
4. Is a vegan diet better for reducing the risk of cancer?
Ans: Cutting back on meats, especially red and processed meat, can reduce your risk of contracting cancer. However, you need not avoid meat altogether for this purpose. Besides, meats offer a wide range of nutrition that is difficult to replicate in vegan food. Aiming for 65-70% of plant-based food and 30-35% animal-based food is considered to be ideal for optimal health.
5. Is refined sugar bad for health?
Ans: Refined sugar can have several negative impacts on your overall health. It can lead to consistent spikes in sugar levels, leading to a higher resting blood glucose level which can cause increased insulin resistance and, eventually, type 2 diabetes. Other possible health risks include heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and neurological conditions.