It’s been suggested that one in two men and one in three women in America are going to contract some form of cancer at some point in their lives. It sounds terrible but the good news is that over half of all the cancers there are can be prevented by making some lifestyle changes. Your diet is a major risk factor and there are foods that you should be avoiding, no matter how good they taste. The following are some of the cancer causing foods you probably eat every day.
1. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils are things like vegetable oils. They are filled with trans fats, acknowledged by the Mayo Clinic as some of the worst fats there are. These trans fats cause cancer, heart disease, and damage the immune system. Trans fats are so bad there’s no “acceptable” level. They shouldn’t be anywhere in your diet at all. If you’d like to avoid trans fats then it’s recommended you switch to oils like coconut, palm, or olive oil. Olive oil itself is said to be one of the healthiest fats there is; even capable of fighting cancer.
2. French Fires/Potato Chips
These fast foods are cooked in hydrogenated oil, which we just established is bad, and then covered in salt. Salt is another concern as it increases blood pressure and leads to other health problems. Foods that are cooked at too high of a temperature are also rampant in acrylamide. The National Cancer Institute says that this acrylamide is found in cigarette smoke as well as industrial building materials and some foods. French fries and potato chips alike contain this cancer causing chemical. Potatoes are also a part of the “Dirty Dozen” of the Environmental Working Group. This means that they have the highest levels of pesticide residue. So if you eat potatoes it’s best to go organic anyway.
3. Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is a lot more than just kernels of corn. It also contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), which is a suspected carcinogen. It also contains artificial butter, which itself contains another chemical that can damage your lungs. A man from Colorado was even given a $7.2 million settlement after he developed “Popcorn Lung”; a condition caused by inhaling microwave popcorn. It’s much better to air-pop popcorn and make your own flavorings.
4. Processed Meats
Processed meats such as bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, and others have all been shown to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67%. Hot dogs have also been found to contain sodium nitrate; a chemical that causes cancer and is so problematic that the USDA have been trying to have banned since the 70s. Eating hot dogs also increases the risk of leukaemia by 700%. You should try and find nitrite free meats if you love meat that much.
If you’re looking to avoid processed and red meats you’ll likely eat more fish like salmon. If you like salmon then avoid farmed salmon as it tends to be full of pesticides, antibiotics, PCB and other cancer causing chemicals. Go for wild salmon as that way you also have the positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids without any contaminants.
It’s not as difficult as you might think to change your diet and it could save your life. So what’s stopping you?