Did you know that a healthy diet can help you prevent cancer? Let us understand how important our diet is.
What is the link between cancer and diet?
It is an indisputable fact that some risk factors such as genetics and environment are out of our control, however, research suggests that 70% of cancer can be changed with the help of a healthy diet. The steps for preventing cancer are to avoid cigarettes, limit alcohol, reduce weight, and do regular exercise. A healthy diet can play an important role in preventing cancer.
What you consume and what you don’t have a huge impact on your health, including the risk of cancer. While research points out that food and cancer have a cause-and-effect relationship, there are dietary habits that can have a huge impact on your risk of cancer.
Say, for example, eating a Mediterranean diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, can lower your risk of cancer. A diet that includes a daily serving of meat increases your risk of colorectal cancer.
If your family has a history of cancer, it is important to change your diet and lifestyle. That will, in turn, make a huge difference to your health. And if you are already diagnosed with cancer, eating a healthy diet can help in supporting your fight against cancer by strengthening your body.
Whether you have already been diagnosed with cancer or already adopt a healthy lifestyle, it is always recommended to avoid some carcinogenic foods to prevent cancer. Let us go through 15 carcinogenic foods that prevent cancer —
Foods that prevent cancer –
- Red Meat and Processed Meat — For the meat lovers it is tough to hear that red meat and processed meat are associated with cancer. Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, and goat. Whereas processed meat is meat that has been salted, cured, fermented, smoked, or processed to improve the flavor.
- According to a study, there is a higher risk of cancer associated with processed meat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen.
- Sugar — Sugar plays an important role in the development of certain kinds of cancer. There are many side effects of consuming sugar. It shrinks the immune system, upsets the body’s PH Balance, causing anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, and depression.
- In case the immune system is weak there is a greater risk of developing cancer. Refined sugar is harmful and is metabolized by cancer cells.
- Use natural sugar such as honey or good as a healthy alternative but in moderation.
- Alcohol — Consuming too much alcohol is not good for your health and can cause breast cancer, colon cancer, mouth cancer, liver cancer, and pharynx cancer. When alcohol is consumed with cigarettes, the risk of cancer increases.
- Alcohol consumption can cause many nutritional deficiencies. Alcohol in our body transfers into a cancer-causing chemical known as acetaldehyde. The DNA is being damaged and the cells stop repairing the damage.
- Processed and Packaged Foods — There are certain processed foods that can increase the risk of developing cancer. These processed foods include baked goods and snacks, fizzy drinks, sugary cereals, reconstituted meat products, etc. Some ultra-processed foods are also high in calories which results in obesity. They are a major risk factor for cancer.
- Sodas — Sodas are not good for your health and contain a huge amount of phosphate, white sugar, and chemicals. They effortlessly use the body nutrients which leads to obesity and weight gain.
They also contain unnatural flavor, fabricated coloring, and artificial sweeteners which are carcinogenic substances. There are some studies that have shown sodas can cause brain tumors.
The increase in aluminum level can cause Alzheimer’s and can weaken the gastrointestinal passage. It happens because sodas packed in an aluminum can start leaking a lot of aluminum.
- Farmed Fish — Salmon and cold-water fish are rich in Omega 3 and eating them is a healthy option. But, farm-raised fish has a low-source of Omega-3 since it is an untypical diet and is polluted with antibiotics, pesticides, and other cancer-causing elements.
Hence, one must avoid consuming farmed fish.
- Artificial Sweeteners — Artificial Sweeteners help control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and minimize obesity. But, research shows that artificial sweeteners do not support weight loss and in fact, elevates weight gain because they make you feel hungry for more sugars.
- The artificial sweeteners can be replaced by honey and good.
- Refined White Flour — We all know that white flour is not good for your health. It can lead to weight gain and can cause obesity. The process of refining grains and flour results in a loss of nutrients and a decrease in fiber content. This can lead to a lot of digestive issues such as constipation.
- To prevent cancer growth, one should avoid refined white flour and white sugar and find healthier alternatives.
- Dirty Fruits and Vegetables — Here, dirty fruits and vegetables refer to the ones which have pesticides sprayed on them. According to a Canadian Cancer Association study, pesticides and cancer have a direct connection. Hence, when buying fruits, test them well and avoid chemicals in fruits and vegetables.
- Pickled Food — Food that is full of salt can affect your stomach and digestive lining. Salt contains nitrates and nitrites that can transform into cancer-causing nitrosamines. They can damage the DNA cells and can also cause stomach cancer.
- One should always regulate their salt intake.
- Diet Food — Foods that are low in sugar or fat-free are known as Diet Food. They contain carcinogens that are linked with cancer.
- It is always advised to skip diet substitutes and pick wholesome foods instead.
- Hydrogenated Oil — While preparing hydrogenated oil, hydrogen gas is placed below the oil and the hydrogen gas is bubbled in the oil. This process helps in changing unsaturated fats into saturated ones with more hydrogen. No doubt, this business is good but will affect your health.
- Soft Drinks — Soft Drinks are loaded with sodas and sugar and can be detrimental to your health. Apart from weight gain, inflammation, and insulin resistance soft drinks can also cause gastro-esophageal reflux disease. This can, in turn, lead to a higher risk of cancer.
- Canned Tomatoes — Canned tomatoes are bad because they are acidic which causes the release of the chemical BPA from the lining of the tomatoes. Also, the tomatoes are badly sprinkled with pesticides.
- Hence, one should always buy organic and fresh tomatoes.
- Potato Chips — Potato Chips are calorie-dense and high in fat content. They can cause a bad affect on our health. Apart from weight gain, inflammation, and insulin resistance, the caffeinated beverage can also lead to esophageal disease.
- This infection can cause stomach acid to leak into the esophagus, which results in pain and burning. A recent study, by the American Journal of Nutrition, found that soda drinkers have a higher risk of stroke than those who do not consume soda.
Tips to cut down the carcinogenic foods –
Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer and are found in food. They are mostly found in cooking or preserving processes and are mostly found in meat and food for example dried and preserved meats, burned meats, smoked foods, and moldy foods.
To consume less carcinogenic foods, one can follow the tips given below –
- Never cook oil on a high flame — The food which is cooked on a low-flame are less carcinogenic. Hence, instead of deep-frying, pan-frying, and sauteing, one can opt for a healthier option such as baking, boiling, steaming, or grilling.
- Do not overcook in barbecue — Overcooking meat while burning or charring creates carcinogenic substances. It is advised not to overcook the meat and cook at proper temperatures.
- Store oil in an airtight container — The oil becomes rancid if exposed to heat, light, and air. Hence, always store oil in an airtight container.
- Avoid food that smells bad or looks stale — A carcinogen is mostly found in the products which are stale or smell bad. Always store food and nuts in a refrigerator.
- Be careful of using utensils in the microwave — Do not use plastic in a microwave. Instead, use a wax paper to cover food.
It is very important to consume good nutrition and be on the safer side. Besides, we should also be aware of the factors that can cause cancer. Some factors such as environmental, psychological, social, mental, emotional are very crucial in our health.
It is very necessary to keep ourselves physically and mentally fit through exercise and a positive attitude. One can do so by exercising daily which will boost our immune system. The key is to stay fit and understand that certain foods are carcinogenic and can cause cancer.