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11 months ago
World Cancer Day: Cancer causing foods you are probably eating every day

Diet plays a key role in lowering your risk of diseases is a known fact. However, not eating a healthy diet can put you at risk of many health problems including cancer is not known by many. You do not have to eat exotic foods but a healthy and balanced diet to ensure protection against cancer. And on the other hand, avoiding foods that cause cancer in your diet can go a long way in lowering your risk of cancer. Dr Ganapathi Bhatt, Hon Consultant Medical Oncologist & Stem cell Transplant Physician, Jaslok Hospital & Research Center Mumbai explains common everyday foods you should avoid to lower the risk of cancer. Here are few cancer-causers in your daily life you should be aware of.

#1. Sodas 

Sodas are an empty source of calories that are loaded with sugar can be very detrimental to the health. In addition to being linked to weight gain, inflammation and insulin resistance, this sweet caffeinated beverage can lead to gastro-oesophagal reflux disease including cancer. In addition to this, sodas contain a whole host of artificial colourings and chemicals, which are known to increase the risk of cancer.

#2. Potato Chips

The salty, crunchy potato chips may be satisfying to eat but the negative effect they have on your body may be hard to digest. Potato chips are calorie dense and high in fat content, both of which contribute to unintended weight gain. It contains artificial preservatives and dyes that are fried at a high temperature, which leads to the production of acrylamide, a known carcinogen that is found in cigarettes. In addition to this, potato chips can cause undesirable effects on the health if included as a part of your daily diet. Here’s more on horrible things junk food does to your body.

#3. Processed Meats

Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and most lunch meats, can be damaging to your health. These meats contain chemicals and excessive amounts of salt that are used in the manufacturing process. A recent study by researchers was published in the journal of BMC Medicine.In this study, people who ate more than 160 grams of processed meat increased their risk of death by as much as 44 percent over the course of 12 years. The study itself was conducted over 13 years and across 10 countries. These chemicals and preservatives (including sodium nitrates) in processed meats are used to improve their appearance on store shelves. However, these same chemicals are commonly known carcinogens.

#4. Canned tomatoes

Tomatoes, normally a staple in many healthy diets, can be made hazardous when canned. The can lining is usually made with a chemical substance called bisphenol-a, more commonly known as BPA. The chemical has been shown to alter brain chemistry in research done on rats. As a result, there have been efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce and eventually eliminate BPA from canned food products, not just tomatoes. The reason canned tomatoes are so dangerous in particular is because tomatoes are very acidic. Acidic foods can cause more rapid leaching of BPA from the can lining into the food. The BPA content from canned tomatoes can be so high that some brands warn parents not to feed them to their children.

#5. Microwave Popcorn

What’s a movie without popcorn? This convenient, relatively healthy snack is seemingly harmless. The culprit here isn’t the popcorn itself, but the bag that it’s microwaved in. Typically, microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical referred to as perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). Quite a mouthful, right? This toxin is more commonly known to exist in Teflon. A shocking study from the University of California found that this toxin can be linked to infertility in women. In addition to this, PFOA has been found to significantly increase the risk of liver, bladder, kidney, and testicular cancer in humans in several other studies. Here are few ways to change your food habits and prevent cancer!

#6. Alcohol

Over 14 years, a study conducted on American women examined their diet and lifestyle habits. Of the 200,000 postmenopausal women participating, those who consumed at least one alcoholic beverage a day showed almost a 30% increase in breast cancer rates in comparison to those who did not drink. Not convinced? Behind tobacco use, alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer. In addition to this alcohol use can be associated with heart failure, stroke and sudden death.

#7. Artificial Sweetener

Many people have made the mistake in assuming that artificial sugar replacements are actually better than real sugar. But it is wrong. In addition to causing more weight gain than ordinary sugar, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame make it extremely difficult to control blood sugar levels. This poses a huge problem to diabetics trying to manage insulin levels. Although the research hasn’t been completed yet, there is evidence that many artificial sweeteners end up breaking down in your body into a substance called DKP. DKP is a deadly toxin that can produce chemicals which have been linked to brain tumors.

#8. Refined Sugars

While not as terrible as artificial sweeteners, refined sugar is still something to avoid. In addition to spiking your insulin levels they provide an excellent fuel source for cancer cells. In 1931, researchers discovered that tumors rely on sugar to increase cancer cell production and size. Refined sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, are more easily converted into cancer cell growth than regular sugar. Sadly, high fructose corn syrup is still found in thousands of products at the neighborhood supermarket. Here’s more on sugar and cancer you need to know.

#9. Smoked Meat

Smoked barbecue meat, which is famously tender and delicious, is also loaded with carcinogens.During the smoking process the meat absorbs tar from the smoke, which in turn is absorbed by your body when eaten. Tar is found in tobacco, which is the leading cause of cancer. Meanwhile, grilled meats (when prepared with the proper cooking oil) can cut the carcinogen content down significantly.

 

#10.Refined White Flour

Odds are that you haven’t really heard much about refined white flour or know why it’s something to avoid. That’s because the food industry has picked the name “refined white flour” to describe what should really be called “bleached flour”. Studies have found that after bleaching the flour traces of the chemicals still remain in it. The more highly processed the flour is, the higher the carbohydrate content is as well. This alone isn’t too bad, however consider the fact that a diet high in carbs messes with your blood sugar levels and increases insulin production, which is a favorite food source for cancer cells.

Source: Shutterstock

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