The American Cancer Society now reports the chances of getting cancer are now 1 in 2 for men, and 1 in 3 for women. With over half of cancers being avoidable, it seemed that a closer look needed to be taken at we are subjecting out bodies to that might me at the root of the cancer epidemic. One of the greatest exposures to cancer is in what we eat. Cancer causing foods are likely in your everyday diet and you didn’t even realize it.
Here are 10 foods that can causes cancer:
1. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
The rapidly growing industries of genetically modified crops are infiltrating our food supply at an alarming rate. With no testing done by the FDA to ensure safety, GMOs have made their way into the majority of our foods. More than 90% of our corn and soy are now genetically modified. These GMO foods have been modified to withstand heavy doses of a pesticide called glyphosate or are engineered to contain a toxin that kills bugs.
Experts agree that adequate testing was not done before GMO foods were added to the ingredient listing of thousands of products. In other words, no one including the growers and manufacturers of GMO foods knows the long-term effect they will have on human health. The only way to avoid GMOs and pesticides is to choose foods that are certified organic or had GMO-free labels.
2. Microwave Popcorn
It contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which is a likely carcinogen. Not only are the kernels and oil likely GMO (which the manufacturer does not have to disclose) unless organic, the fumes released from artificial butter flavoring contain diacetyl, which is toxic to humans. Artificial butter contains another dangerous chemical that can damage the lungs when inhaled. To reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals, make your own organic popcorn the old-fashioned way – it tastes better, doesn’t release toxic fumes, and is a healthier choice for you.
3. Canned foods
Most cans are lined with a product called bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats. Many plastic goods, thermal paper, water lines, and many dental composites also contain BPA. Stick to fresh or frozen vegetables that have no added ingredients for your family’s table. These are better for you and available year round.
4. Grilled Red Meat
While grilled food can taste delicious, scientists have discovered that preparing meats in this way, especially processed meats like hot dogs – releases a carcinogen called heterocyclic aromatic amines. When you grill red meat to the point of well-done, it changes the chemical and molecular structure of the meat. You’re better off baking, broiling, or preparing meat in a skillet than on the grill. But just opt forgrass fed organic meat, which contains conjugated linoleic acids that can actually fight against certain cancers.
5. Refined Sugar
The biggest cancer causing food is high-fructose corn syrup and other refined sugars. Even brown sugar is highly refined white sugar with some of the removed molasses added back in for flavor and color. Refined sugars (and foods made with them) are the source of major insulin spikes and feed the growth of cancer cells. Since the majority of the sugar supply in the U.S. is made using genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets, a healthier option is organic honey, coconut sugar, or maple sugar.
6. Salted, Pickled, and Smoked Foods
These products typically contain preservatives, such as nitrates, which are intended to prolong shelf life. The additives used in processed foods can accumulate in your body over time. Eventually, such toxins cause damage at the cellular level and lead to diseases like cancer. When smoked foods are cooked at high temperatures, the nitrates are converted to the much more dangerous nitrites.
Note: By pickled foods we don’t mean the fermented foods you make at home.
7. Soda and Carbonated Beverages
Sodas have been at the center of the health debate for two decades as a major cancer causing food. Filled with high-fructose corn syrup, dyes, and a host of other chemicals, they are very bad for every aspect of your health. They provide zero nutritional value and rob your body of the nutrients you get from other foods. If you are using products which have “diet” to the label means you’re also likely consuming aspartame – which is no better than rat poison to human cells.
When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed. Then it’s bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers. The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel. Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance. Simple sugars (like refined carbohydrates) are the preferred fuel source for cancer. Avoid carbohydrates that are highly processed such as white bread, white pasta, white rice, soda & concentrated fruit juices to avoid this reaction in your body.
9. Farmed Fish
Commercial fish farming involves raising an incredible number of fish (such as salmon), in a crowded environment. More than 60% of the salmon consumed in the United States comes from a farming operation where they are treated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals to try and control the bacterial, viral, and parasitic outbreaks that result from cramming so many fish in a small space. Opt for the wild version instead to get the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids that salmon provides as farmed fish also don’t have as much omega-3 as wild salmon.
10. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils, like vegetable oil, contain trans fats. Vegetable oils are chemically extracted from their source, chemically treated, and more chemicals are added to change the smell and taste. They’re packed with unhealthy omega-6 fats (that Americans already consume way too much of) and have been proven to alter the structure of our cell membranes. You can avoid hydrogenated oil but instead choosing coconut, palm, or olive oil. Organic butter is a better option as well.