What you eat could be killing you – and not just because of what it’s doing to your heart and weight. Plenty of foods that you may be eating on a regular basis have been found to cause cancer.
In 2008, 12.7 million cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide. The disease killed more than 7.5 million people that year. That’s 21,000 people a day. Even more shocking is that the number of cases is expected to rise. While some cancer is inherited, familial genetics accounts for only 5 percent of the diagnoses.
The rest are a result of genetic abnormalities – many that are caused by damage to genes from both internal and external factors. Some of these external factors are the foods you eat.
Here’s a look at the top 10 most cancer-causing foods you may be eating.
Genetically modified foods are foods that have been altered by scientists. According to the Center for Food Safety, 60-70 percent of processed foods on store shelves are genetically modified. The most common GMOs are corn, rice, honey, sugar cane, soy, and even many milk products. Avoid GMOs by checking labels for organic or non-genetically modified.
2. Processed meat.
In case you needed another reason to follow a plant-based diet, processed meat could be causing cancer. Much of the turkey, ham, and other meats from the deli along with bacon, sausage and hot dogs contain preservatives such as sodium nitrate. This chemical keeps the food fresh but has also been linked to colon cancer.
3. Microwave popcorn.
The bag that makes the corn pop nice and fluffy contains perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been labeled by the EPA as “likely” carcinogenic – increasing the risk of liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer.
Besides the high levels of sugar, soda also contains a whole host of other far-from-natural ingredients such as food colorings and preservatives. One concern is that all of these chemicals create a highly acidic environment in the body in which cancer cells thrive. On top of that, the ingredient that gives soda its caramel color has been linked to a rise in cancer.
5. Diet soda.
The ingredients that make diet soda low-cal, primarily aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, have been shown in labs to cause cancer and birth defects.
6. Refined white flour.
White stuff is usually bad stuff. Refined flours which are used in many processed foods have higher levels of carbohydrates and a higher glycemic index. According to a recent study, consumption of refined carbohydrates has been linked to breast cancer, and the higher glycemic index of these refined carbs causes a spike in blood sugar that cancer cells feed on.
7. Refined sugars.
Similar to refined flour, refined sugars cause blood sugar to spike and allow cancer cells to grow and multiply. One of the biggest culprits of refined sugars in processed foods is high-fructose corn syrup.
8. Many fruits and vegetables.
If you’re eating conventional fruits and vegetables, you may be also eating cancer-causing pesticides. Topping the list of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables are apples, grapes and strawberries. Stick to organic and you’ll get the health benefits without the toxins.
9. Farmed salmon.
Farm-raised salmon is often full of contaminants ranging from pesticides to flame retardants to antibiotics – many of which have been connected to cancer.
10. Hydrogenated oils.
These oils may keep food shelf stable but they also affect the cells in your body which have been blamed for a number of diseases. Thankfully many companies have realized this and are switching to safer oils such as palm oil instead.