Medical experts consider cancer as a complex set of diseases. They also note that it can be triggered by various factors, including:
– Lifestyle factors like unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use;
– Specific infections;
– Environmental exposure to various types of chemicals and radiation.
According to researches, following an unhealthy diet and being physically inactive could elevate your possibility of developing cancer.
It has been estimated by The World Cancer Research Fund that nearly 20% of the total American cancer cases are associated with poor diet, physical inactivity, weight gain, and excess consumption of alcohol.
However, like many other diseases, cancer is also a preventable disease. So, you can greatly lower your risk of cancer by:
– Eating a healthy diet rich in organic veggies and fruits;
– Giving up smoking;
– Exercising regularly;
– Maintaining a healthy body weight.
1. Refined and Artificial Sugars
It is a well-known fact that the excess intake of foods containing refined sugar and artificial fructose sweeteners, like high-fructose corn syrup can lead to the development of a wide range of health issues.
In general, this type of foods can quickly raise the levels of insulin and boost cancer cell growth.
In 2006, the American Society for Clinical Nutrition journal published a study suggesting that the participants who consumed higher amounts of sugar-sweetened foods had a greater chance of developing pancreatic cancer than control group.
Hence, consider substituting these unhealthy food choices with natural options such as maple syrup, raw honey, stevia, blackstrap molasses, or jaggery.
2. Processed or Red Meat
Processed meats such as ham, sausage and bacon have chemicals and preservatives like sodium nitrates, which make them bad for your health. In addition, processed meat contains excessive salt, which is also not good for you.
In a 2008 study published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal, researchers found that processed meat intake might be involved in the etiology of colorectal cancer.
Along with processed meat, you must avoid excessive intake of red meat that can lead to higher risks of colon and prostate cancer.
To avoid the harmful effects of processed meat, try lean meat and cook your own food.
3. Farmed Salmon
There is a huge difference between farmed and wild salmon. In other words, unlike the farmed salmon, the consumption of wild variety offers many health benefits.
Furthermore, farmed salmon consumption has been found to increase the chance of cancer development.
To be more specific, Science Magazine published a study confirming that there are greater amounts of harmful chemicals and cancer-promoting ingredients in farmed salmon than wild one. Some of these ingredients include toxaphene, mercury, dioxins, flame retardants, and polychlorinated biphenyls. These ingredients are not good for your health and can lead to many other health problems.
In case you want to purchase wild salmon, please read its labeled ingredients. Keep in mind that farmed salmon is cheaper than wild variety.
4. Pickled and Smoked Foods
The regular consumption of these foods is not good for your overall health.
Namely, the smoking process of smoked meats leaves many toxic ingredients in the meat, which can contribute to various health issues. Also, there are a lot of nitrates in pickled foods that are transformed into N-nitroso. Additionally, this ingredient can significantly elevate the possibility of developing cancer.
What’s more, smoked and pickled foods are loaded with preservatives. They are added in these foods in order to prolong their shelf life. But, the excess intake of preservatives can trigger cellular damage, thus resulting in cancer development.
Therefore, it is recommended to exclude these foods from your diet.
5. Hydrogenated Oil
This type of oils are actually turned into poisons through their processing and manufacturing.
They are chemically extracted from vegetables to prolong their shelf life as well as preserve processed foods. Moreover, they are abundant in omega–6 fatty acids and trans fats.
To explain you more deeply, small amount of omega–6 fatty acids can be beneficial for your overall health. But, high intake of these fatty acids can negatively affect the cell membrane’s structure and flexibility. It can elevate your risk of developing many cancer types, particularly skin cancer.
Plus, the trans fats can raise your chance of developing colorectal, prostate and breast cancer.
As you can see, hydrogenated oils can do a lot of harm to your health, so replace them with extra-virgin coconut and olive oil.
6. Potato chips
These fast food staples are fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil and then heavily salted. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, eating just 1 ounce of potato chips a day causes an average 2-pound weight gain in one year. Secondly, they are abundant in trans-fats which increase cholesterol levels in most people, as well as sodium, which raises blood pressure levels. Next, potato chips are fried at high temperatures to make them crispy but this also causes them to produce acrylamide, a known carcinogen also found in cigarettes.
Instead of buying potato chips from the market, make them at home using healthy oil like olive oil.
7. Microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn is a convenient and relatively healthy snack, but the bag it comes in is another story. Many microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). This toxin has been found to significantly raise the risk of breast, kidney, colorectal, bladder, prostate, lung, thyroid, leukemia, and lymphoma cancers.
8. Refined White Flour
Nowadays, there are a great number of processed food products containing refined white flour. However, refined white flour possesses high amounts of carbohydrates, which have negative impact on your health. Also, they can elevate the risk of developing cancer.
According to studies, women who consumed too much carbohydrates had a raised breast cancer risk. It has been also found that white flour consumption can cause increased sugar levels in the blood very quickly.
That is why you should replace refined white flour with other healthier alternatives such as quinoa, almond, whole-wheat, or barley flour.