Nowadays it is practically impossible to eat healthy as doctors and nutritionists tend to link almost everything to causing cancer. With nearly 1.5 million people being diagnosed with some type of cancer each year, one cannot but wonder which everyday foods indeed contain carcinogens.
Many people think they are doing the right thing for their health by drinking diet sodas or eating low-calorie microwave popcorn, but these 2 are actually one of the main culprits you should be avoiding. If you don’t know whether to drink regular or diet soda when faced with this option, it is probably best to say no to both and opt for a fresh apple, right? Hmm… It appears that even this is debatable. Let’s see why.
15. White Flours
It is highly likely you’ve already heard about white flour not being good for you, but it turns out it is actually much worse than you can imagine.
We are mainly talking about refined white flour. Refining processes destroys almost all natural nutrients in grains, and with mills now bleaching flour using chlorine gas, this white powdery substance is definitely not good for your health.
The EPA states that chlorine gas is highly dangerous and can even be lethal if inhaled in large quantities.
Refined white flour has a very high glycemic rate which quickly raises the blood sugar level, as well as insulin levels, thus it is a direct cause of diabetes and the spreading of the cancer cells. A white powder we should avoid… Ring any bells?
14. Hydrogenated Oils
Since there is no way to naturally extract vegetable oils, they have to be chemically removed from their source, and then they are usually deodorized and artificially colored so they would look appealing and be more acceptable to consumers.
Vegetable oils also contain high levels of Omega–6 fatty acids which can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, or can cause an increase in various types of cancer (especially skin cancer).
However, the answer is in a good balance of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, thus you will want to get plenty of Omega-3 on a daily basis. They are available in the form of supplements and grass fed meats, but can also be found in fish such as salmon and mackerel.
13. Smoked Meat
We know these are all delicious, but guess what – they are bad for you.
Smoked meat ends up absorbing considerable amounts of tar from the smoke, and we all know that tar is a known carcinogen. All smoked meats (think bacon, sausage, bologna, salami, ham, etc), alongside all pickled foods, are high in fat and salt.
Nutritionists warn that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence proving that eating these types of meat can greatly increase the risk of colorectal and stomach cancer. It has been confirmed that the rates of stomach cancer are much greater in countries in which traditional cuisine includes many salty and smoked foods.
Smoking is definitely bad for you, one way or the other.
What goes well with smoking? Alcohol, of course, and you shouldn’t be consummating either (especially if you are a middle-aged woman).
An in-depth study that followed the diet and lifestyles of more than 200,000 women over the course of 14 years, found that postmenopausal women who drank one drink per day had an almost 30% increase in breast cancer rates compared to women who did not consume alcohol at all.
While a low-moderate consumption of alcohol can actually be healthy and lead to a reduced risk of heart disease, excessive drinking can cause heart failure, stroke, and sudden death.
Back in 2007, a study conducted by the experts over at World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that alcohol abuse is the main cause of mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, mouth, rectum, and female breast cancers.
11. All “Diet” Products
You should know that all diet foods labeled as “diet” or “low fat” generally contain aspartame – an artificial sweetener and a dangerous chemical that causes many a serious disease and sickness, including cancer, birth defect and heart problems.
All diet products are chemically processed and made from highly refined ingredients and contain excessive sodium levels, as well as artificial colors and flavors to make it taste and look good.
There have even been studies that prove these additives can actually be addictive, as they feed the “feel good” receptors in your brain, just like a certain white powder we kind of mentioned before.
10. Conventional “Dirty” Fruits & Veggies
Here’s something you definitely didn’t see coming.
One should stay away from apples, grapes, celery, tomatoes, imported nectarines, strawberries, peaches, potatoes, spinach, and other dirty fruits and vegetables that are not organic or verified to be pesticide-free.
Most people think they are eating healthy when they sink their teeth in those juicy apples, grapes, or strawberries they bought in the store, but the reality is much more dismal than one would think.
Unless you buy fruits and veggies that are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says that up to 98% of all conventional, or “dirty,” produce is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides.
9. Red Meat
Right after those juicy and delicious traps, we come to another succulent and tasty but also forbidden, well, meat.
Though it is perfectly fine to have that bloody red meat steak every now and then, you definitely shouldn’t eat it on a daily basis.
Red meat can actually be a good thing in your diet, but only if you consume it in small doses and it is grass-fed beef.
This type of meat can even help fight certain cancers, however, people who eat red meat and hamburgers every day have a greater risk of developing colon cancer.
So, steak dinner is fine, but in moderation, and make sure you stick to grass-fed, organic beef.
8. Refined Sugar Products
Not only are refined causing your insulin levels to skyrocket, they are also promoting the growth of cancer cells, bigtime.
It has been known for quite a while now that cancers have a thing for sweets.
Back in 1931, Otto Warburg, the Nobel laureate in German medicine, found that cancers actually use sugars to feed themselves and to increase in size, and they seem to prefer feeding on fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup.
Foods that are high in refined sugar seem to be metabolized most quickly by cancer cells.
This is why we should really cut down on high-fructose corn syrup, cakes, pies, cookies, candy, sodas, juices, sauces and other processed foods which are loaded with refined sugars.
7. Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMO)
The term GMO has been circling around for years now, but if you don’t fully understand what it means and what are all the dangers of genetically modified organisms, you are definitely not alone.
After GMO’s were introduced back in 1996, studies have shown a huge increase in chronic illnesses.
In fact, people with 3 or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7 to 13% in just 9 years, while allergies and autism in children skyrocketed, as well as reproductive and digestion problems.
In later studies, it was confirmed that genetically modified vegetables fed to rats caused development of tumors never seen before, and one of the major causes was GM bovine growth hormone found in milk.
6. Farmed Salmon Meat
Even though fish meat is probably one of the healthiest foods out there, farmed salmon meat should apparently be avoided at all cost. This is important to remember as more than 60% of the salmon consumed in the States is in fact farm raised.
The thing is that these salmon are fed unnatural diets and their meat, though delicious, is contaminated with chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, and other known carcinogens.
Since they live in very crowded conditions, these poor animals have 30 times the number of sea lice than wild salmon. In order to get that coveted reddish-pink color of their meat, farmed salmon are fed strong chemicals.
This means they have less of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids and contain high levels of PCB’s, mercury, and cancer causing dioxins.
Something’s certainly fishy with farmed salmon.
5. Potato Chips
We all know potato chips are not that great for us, but it them like crazy anyway. However, the negative effects they have on our bodies are actually much greater than we thought and they are certainly not worth the cheap thrill they provide.
Since these crispy snacks are super high in both fat and calories, they are sure to bring on some serious weight gain, alongside high cholesterol levels in some cases. They also have excessive sodium levels which cause high blood pressure in people prone to heart diseases.
Nevertheless, the greatest threat actually comes from the artificial flavors, numerous preservatives and artificial colors, and a little something called acrylamide – a carcinogen material that comes from these chips being fried in high temperatures so they would make them crispy.
4. Canned Foods
The trick is in the can, actually, not the ingredients themselves. The lining of almost all canned foods are made with a chemical called bisphenol-A, or BPA.
A study conducted in 2013 by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, found that BPA can affect the way genes work inside the brain of rats.
FDA also warns there is a problem with BPA and they are working their best to either replace this dangerous chemical, or at least minimize the amounts found in canned foods.
Canned tomatoes are especially dangerous due to their high acidity causing BPA to dissolve from the lining of the can into the tomatoes themselves.
3. Processed Meats
Yup, all those delicious hams, sausages, bacon, hot dogs, and even some of the lunch meats like bologna or pimento loaf could be dangerous.
The research published in the journal of BMC Medicine pointed out that all the excessive salts and chemicals used when making processed meats are just plain bad for your health.
In fact, 1 in every 17 people who were involved in the study actually died, while those who ate 160 grams or more of processed meats increased their risk of early death by 44% over the course of 12 years.
In order to look delicious and appealing, all processed meat is added numerous chemicals and preservatives (including sodium nitrates), which are proven to be known carcinogens.
2. Microwave Popcorn
Unfortunately, the easiest way of eating those delicious and crunchy pops is actually quite bad for you. This simple and tasty snack just isn’t worth liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer, now is it?
Much like the canned foods we’ve mentioned earlier, the trick is in the packaging, but also in the product itself.
Microwave popcorn bags, as well as the popcorn it holds, are lined with carcinogenic chemicals creating the artificial flavor.
The chemical is called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and not only does it cause kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas and testicular cancers, it has also been linked to infertility in women.
1. Soda Pop
Perhaps the most widely spread cancer triggering food is the tasty and fizzy soda pop.
A recent study that was published in May in the American Journal of Nutrition found that people who consumed more than one soda on a daily basis had a much higher risk of stroke and developing cancer, as opposed to people who did not drink sodas at all.
Drinking these sugar-loaded, empty sources of calories can bring you nothing but weight gain, bad teeth and some serious diseases.
Drinking large amounts of soda dissolves huge amounts of sugar in your body and causes your blood sugar levels to skyrocket, leading to both inflammation and insulin resistance.