Cancer is a disease that you should never take lightly. There are cases where it strikes quickly but often, cancer manifests after years of specific habits. Good examples of this are smoking and overexposure to ultraviolet rays, which result in lung cancer and skin cancer, respectively.
Experts estimate that more than half the cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States – more than 1.6 million in 2014 – are preventable with lifestyle changes.
There is one area of your daily life that dramatically affects your – and survival – of cancer. The food and beverages you consume, the fuel your body uses to fight disease, is critical to your overall wellbeing. Some foods are worse for you than others and could be increasing your risk of many conditions and diseases. While cancer is one of the worst, regularly eating the foods in our top ten list can also lead to heart disease, diabetes, and chronic inflammation.
Top Ten Cancer Causing Foods to Avoid
1. Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs).
In order to make crops more resistant to pests, scientists insert a special gene, called Bt-toxin – derived from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria – into corn and cotton plants. The toxin attacks the stomach lining of nibbling insects, killing the pests within a couple of days of ingestion. More than 65 percent of U.S. corn crops contain this special gene that produces the insecticide.
Another alarming fact: 80% of the processed food items in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients. This means that if you are a U.S. resident, you are undoubtedly eating genetically modified foods.
These genetically modified foods have been sneaking into our diets since 1995, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed the first genetically engineered plant – corn. Today, 90% of several U.S. crops are grown with genetically engineered seed.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that it does not occur naturally.” Scientists insert a gene from one organism into another to “improve” or change the organism.
2. Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is subject to a wide-ranging lung cancer debates around the world. Not only are the kernels and oil likely GMO (which the manufacturer does not have to disclose) unless organic, but the fumes released from artificial butter flavoring contain diacetyl, which is toxic to humans.
3. Canned Goods
Most canned goods are lined with a product called bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats; thus, most probably has profoundly harmful effects to man. Aside from the fact that most canned goods are preservatives-loaded, the can itself, is a killer.
Many plastic goods, thermal paper, water lines, and many dental composites also contain BPA.
4. Grilled Red Meat
Scientists have discovered that grilling meat – especially processed meats like hot dogs – releases a carcinogen called heterocyclic aromatic amines. When you grill red meat it changes the chemical and molecular structure of the meat.
5. Refined Sugar
The biggest threat is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) but even brown sugar is highly refined white sugar with some of the removed molasses added back in for flavor and color. They are the source of major insulin spikes and feed the growth of cancer cells. Since the majority of the sugar supply in the U.S. is made using genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets, a healthier option is organic honey, coconut sugar, or maple sugar.
6. Salted, Pickled, and Smoked Foods
These products typically contain preservatives, such as nitrates, which are intended to prolong shelf life. The additives used in processed foods can accumulate in your body over time. Eventually, such toxins cause damage at the cellular level and lead to diseases like cancer. When smoked foods are cooked at high temperatures, the nitrates are converted to the much more dangerous nitrites.
7. Soda and Carbonated Beverages
Sodas have been at the center of the health debate for two decades. Filled with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dyes, and a host of other chemicals, they are very bad for your health. They provide zero nutritional value and can rob your body of the nutrients you get from other foods. Adding “diet” to the label means you’re also consuming aspartame – and that is no better than rat poison.
To emphasize that YOU MUST STOP DRINKING COKE, look at this instantaneous effects of soda in our body:
Nasal Cavity Pain
A study conducted at the University of Southern California reveals that the carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages alerts pain sensors in your nasal cavity.
Carbonation from beverages like soda causes two sensations, making your mouth taste sour and a tingling feeling in your nose and throat. The burning sensation that many people feel when drinking carbonated drinks stems from nerves that respond to pain sensations and temperature in your nose and mouth.
Consuming one or more carbonated drinks per day may cause you to experience nighttime heartburn. One study revealed that heartburn at night, nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux, is fairly common. Researchers also report that frequent heartburn may lead to laryngitis, asthma and pneumonia. If you often have heartburn try cutting back on carbonated drinks as this may be the culprit.
Kidney specialists determined that excessive consumption of carbonated beverages is a risk factor for kidney disease and may lead to inflammation and damage to your kidneys, according to a 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Physically active girls who consume carbonated cola drinks are five times more likely to have bone fractures than active girls who do not drink soda, reports Grace Wyshak, associate professor in the departments of biostatistics and population and international health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Carbonated drinks contain phosphoric acid, which has been shown to deplete calcium levels and bone mass.
8. White Flour
When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed and then it is bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers. The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel. Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance.
9. Farmed Fish
Commercial fish farming involves raising an incredible number of fish – such as salmon – in a crowded environment. 60% of the salmon consumed come from a farming operation where they are treated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals. They also do not contain as much omega-3 as wild salmon.
10. Hydrogenated Oils
Vegetable oils are chemically extracted from their source, then they are chemically treated, and then more chemicals are added to change the smell and taste. They are packed with unhealthy omega-6 fats and have been proven to alter the structure of our cell membranes.
Here’s a summary of what literature has said about the problems of hydrogenated fats and trans fats:
- Hydrogenated fats act biochemically in the body like saturated fats.
- Trans fats can elevate blood cholesterol levels, similar to the cholesterol-raising effects of saturated fats.
- Trans fats raise the levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol.
- Trans fats reduce levels of HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Raising the bad cholesterol and lowering the good cholesterol in the blood spells double trouble.
- Trans fats have been shown to decrease the body’s ability to produce natural anti- inflammatory prostaglandins.
- Eating a diet high in nutritionally worthless hydrogenated fats may lessen a person’s daily intake of other fats, especially essential fatty acids that are important for growth and function of vital organs, such as the brain. This is a concern especially in children and frequent fast food consumers whose daily diet is high in processed and deep fat-fried foods and snacks.
- Trans fatty acids may be linked to other health problems as well, including decreased testosterone, abnormal sperm production, and prostate disease in men; obesity, immune system depression, and diabetes.
Avoiding hydrogenated oils: Any food that is listed as “diet,” “light,” or “fat-free” should be avoided. In order to remove fat or natural calories, they are replaced with chemicals that are dangerous to your body. Instead of eating food that manufacturers profess is “good for you” – add organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, and organic dairy products.
To help avoid hydrogenated oils, most of your foods should be raw and as close to their natural state as possible. This means more fruits and vegetables including organic local meats as fresh as possible. The more real foods from nature that you eat, the less packaged and processed foods you’ll consume. It’s the packaged and processed foods that are most likely to be made with hydrogenated oils to help increase their shelf life.