There are a number of different things that contribute to our chances of that dreaded cancer diagnosis. However, many people are unaware of the fact that there are actually several foods that increase cancer risk. While no single food is believed to be behind any of the most common forms of the disease, there are some that can increase a risk that already exists.
If you are already genetically predisposed or your lifestyle is potentially problematic in this area, then you may benefit from cutting out foods that increase cancer risk or at least reducing their intake. After all, there are enough factors over which we don’t have any control. It’s up to us to make the right choices when it comes to the risk factors we can control.
5 common foods that increase cancer risk:
1. Canned food
eating a can of soup or dumping some canned peas into a saucepan isn’t going to be a direct path to a diagnosis. However, eating these foods on a regular basis could increase your risk because of the bisphenol-A (more commonly known a BPA) which is found in the lining of nearly every food can. To avoid this risk, focus on fresh or frozen, instead. They’re better for you anyway!
2. Grilled red meat
this may smell and taste sensational, but studies have found that preparing red meat this way causes a carcinogen – known as heterocyclic aromatic amines – to be released. This doesn’t mean that you should never eat grilled red meat, but if you currently eat it quite often, you might want to scale it back a bit in favor of baking, broiling and frying.
3. Refined sugar
a high intake of refined sugar such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may fuel cancer growth cell through the insulin spikes it causes. There is a limited but growing body of evidence linking very sugary foods produced with this type of sweetener and the risk of cancer.
4. Cured meats
everything from sausages to bacon and many deli meats contain a substance called nitrites. This occurs as a result of the process through which they are made. Until recently, the body of evidence connecting the consumption of these meats and the risk of cancer was limited. However, a very large and respected study has now provided a considerable amount of insight and confirmation into this connection.
5. Hydrogenated oils
these chemically extracted vegetable oils are extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids. While those are harmless in balanced doses, the American diet is already very high in omega 6. Hydrogenated oils only cause a further spike in omega 6 levels which has been shown to alter cell membrane structure and may increase cancer risk.