Roughly one third of all cancers are caused by food, drink and unhealthy lifestyle. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in two recent studies, failure to make healthy lifestyle choices is one of the top reasons cancer is becoming more prevalent in the modern world.
And what do researchers mean by lifestyle? Well, a large part of that is diet.
What Foods Should You Be Avoiding?
- Farmed Fish
Research conducted by the Environmental Working Group suggested that farmed fish contain 16 times more carcinogenic chemicals than their wild counterparts.
A large reason for this is that farmed fish are continuously fed contaminated fish meal.
There have been three independent studies where scientists who tested 37 commercial fish meals from around the world, found carcinogenic PCBs in just about all of them.
If you’re going to buy fish, buy wild.
- Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenation – the industrial process that emulsifies unsaturated fat into a stable solid fat, resulting in trans fatty hydrogenated oil, has been proven in several studies to increase one’s risk of cancer.
Hydrogenated oils include canola oil, soybean oil and certain vegetable oils. Use olive oil instead.
- Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn bags are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid. This compound has many links to various types of cancer, including liver, testicular and pancreatic.
Microwaves obviously present their own problems.
Perhaps buy your own kernels instead and pop them the old fashioned way using a skillet!
- Soda Drinks
Research has found that 4-MEI – the chemical that gives certain sodas (cough, Coca Cola, cough) their caramel color – poses a cancer risk that is much greater than the commonly cited “acceptable” limit in the United States.
Aspartame that is found in diet sodas also causes cancer by disrupting the body’s metabolic system.
- Processed Sugar
Processed sugar (as opposed to the natural variety in fruits) just may be one of the most dangerous substances in our diets.
As well as being more addictive than cocaine, processed sugar nourishes breast cancer cells, causing them to rapidly grow.
Americans consume about half a pound of sugar every single day!
How about a piece of fruit instead?
- White Flour
Your body releases insulin when you eat white flour to help process the meal. This can lead to an excess of both compounds in the body, which stimulates cell growth and can essentially fertilize tumors.
Research has shown that those who get more than 57% of their energy intake from carbs like white flour have a 220% higher risk of breast cancer than people with a balanced diet.
How about using products that contain whole wheat flour instead, and use the whole wheat flour for baking.
Soy was once considered an alternative to meat products. Research is now showing that this may not be the case.
A diet with soy ‘turns on’ genes in many women that can cause cancer to grow in the breast tissue. This is due to the estrogen-like compounds in the soy plant that throw the body out of balance.
What’s more, nearly all of the soy grown in the U.S. is GMO soy. Genetic modification of food poses a number of risks on its own as are well documented.
- Processed Meat
Processed meat includes hot dogs, ham, bacon and sausages that have been modified in some way to extend shelf life or alter taste.
Last year, the World Health Organization issued a notice stating that processed meat causes cancer.
22 experts from 10 countries who between them have reviewed more than 800 studies concluded there is a definate link between processed meat and cancer. Eating just 50 grams of processed meat daily (one hot dog) increases one’s risk of colon cancer by 18%.
How about replacing the processed meat with organic variety from your local farmers?