Statistics reveal a massive increase in the number of cancer patients in the last few decades. One of the causes of this rise may be the drastic changes in eating patterns. People have ditched vegetables and fruits for processed food and junk. Healthy snacks have made way for less healthy alternatives with empty calories. The overall life expectancy may have increased, but these longer lives are not necessarily healthier ones.
Did you know that some of the foods that you consume contain certain substances called carcinogens? These carcinogens are what cause cancer in the body. The good news is that you can reduce the chances of getting cancer by making few modifications to your diet. Research has shown that cancer is preventable when you make these changes.
Will making dietary changes help prevent cancer?
To understand this, you must know the most common cancers in men and women. In both males and females, the most common cancers are – cancers of stomach, colon, colorectal and liver carcinomas. As you can see, the majority of the cancers are from the dietary system. Thus it makes sense to avoid the cancer-causing foods mentioned below:
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Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)
The need for massive production in less time has led to the invasion of our farming practices with GMOs. Though it has proved beneficial in the short term, in the long term we are setting ourselves up for diseases that we have not yet found a cure for. There has been very little data to prove the safety of GMOs. Because close to 90% of our soy and corn is genetically modified, we must avoid these foods altogether. Instead, we should look for foods that are organically grown.
The chemical processes involved in the preparation of microwave popcorn put it on the list of foods to avoid. The artificial butter flavoring releases toxic chemical – diacetyl. The chemically lined bag is another carcinogen-containing factor. It would be better to opt for popcorn made organically using old-fashioned way.
If there is something that you must avoid without hesitation, then it is canned goods. Canned goods contain bisphenol-A (BPA) that can genetically change the brain cells. This compound is found in plastics too, that mutate DNA. The best alternative to this is to go for fresh vegetables.
Grilled Red Meat
Grilled red meat is notoriously responsible for releasing heterocyclic aromatic amines. These add to its taste but are proven carcinogens in the etiology of cancer. Processed meat like hot dogs does not contain the original chemical and molecular structure of the actual food. A healthier option would be to boil or bake red meat.
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Refined sugars, including brown sugars, cause cancer. The high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), along with other refined sugars, leads to a sudden spike in sugar levels in the blood and takes longer to break down. These sugars cause mutation in DNA by an unknown mechanism. You have to cut down on these refined sugars and go for organic options like honey, maple sugar, etc.
Salted, Pickled, and Smoked Foods
These foods contain preservatives that are added to increase the shelf life. But these foods reduce your life by introducing toxins into your body that gets accumulated in your cells. They stay in the cells for decades. Smoked foods contain nitrites that are known carcinogens. Experts suggest that you avoid these foods altogether. The pickles that you prepare at home are safe as they don’t contain a preservative. So homemade foods are an excellent alternative to these pickled foods.
Soda and Carbonated Beverages
Soda and carbonated beverages are one of the well-known carcinogens, but people turn a blind eye to it. Soda and other carbonated drinks have no nutritional value. They also contain a compound called aspartame that is found in rat poisons. The high sugar content, dyes, chemicals and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are some of the factors that should make you avoid these beverages. Instead, you can try drinking fruit juices.
White flour is nothing but nutritional waste, with all the value removed from flour during refining. The sugar content is very high and it doesn’t provide any energy, but rather, takes longer to break down. These foods consumed for a long time leads to an increased predisposition to cancer.
Natural fishes found in seas and rivers are healthy. On the other hand, fishes that are commercially grown, like the salmon, are bred in crowded places treated with chemicals. Most of these chemicals are carcinogens, that sneak into your food chain when you consume them. The nutritional value of farmed fish is also very less.
The chemical extraction of vegetable oils leads to the presence of omega-6 fats that are unhealthy. They are the primary culprit behind our pot bellies. In the long run, these foods cause cancer or at least increase the predisposition to it.
Today, check your diet and look for these cancer-causing food. Sometimes, it requires a thorough analysis of your food intake to be able to identify these carcinogens. Needless to say, prevention is always better than the cure. Hence avoid these cancer-causing foods, and live a healthier life.