38 Thought-Provoking Facts About Cancer-Causing Food That You Still Eat Regularly

38 Thought-Provoking Facts About Cancer-Causing Food That You Still Eat Regularly

Any headline with “cancer” in it always catches our interest. This disease in spite of having a lot of research and interest directed towards it has not established any particular causes due to which it occurs. The more we know the severity of having a disease such as cancer, the more nervous we get given the unpredictability of the disease occurring in an individual.

What we eat directly reflects the various ailments that we are prone to. Recent researches have proved that certain foods can be directly linked to increased risk of cancer.

Listed here are 38 important facts about relating the food habits we have which might be pushing us to the cancer risk zone.

  1. Instant noodles: A boon to hostilities, instant noodles become an inseparable part of our lives as it is comparatively cheap and easy to make. But studies show that instant noodles are among top foods considered to increase the risk of cancer due to the chemicals used while processing them.


  1. Hydrogenated Oils: Vegetable oils contain trans fats which are considered to be the worst type of fat according to Mayo clinic. Consuming trans fats increases the risk of heart diseases, cancer as well as starts obstructing the normal functions of our immune system. Substitute them with natural oils such as palm oil, coconut or olive oil.


  1. Microwave Popcorn: Instant microwave popcorn mixtures contain perfluorooctanoic acid which has carcinogenic properties. Air-popped popcorns can be a better alternative for your movie nights.


  1. Canned food: Canned foods such as canned tomatoes are also categories that increase the risk of cancer. The lining of cans and the artificial preservatives are a deadly combination to consume.


  1. Food in plastic containers: Bisphenol-A which is found in plastics, water lines, can lining etc. was responsible for considerable alterations observed in rat`s brain when they were tested which could also be true for humans.


  1. Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners often used by diabetics are also foods highly prone to causing cancer. Plant-based substitute for the same if a healthier choice.


  1. Everyday sugar: Processed sugar we consume is not actually a healthy option either. In fact, sugar has been found to cause cancer cells to multiply and hence consuming moderate amounts is better.


  1. Birth control pills: Apart from causing problems including hormonal imbalance birth control also increases women’s risk of getting breast cancer and cervical cancer.
  2. Processed food: Similar to canned foods, the combination of chemicals used in the packaging plastic and for increasing shelf-life of the product increases the risk of cancer.


  1. Grilled meat: Grilling meat such as beef, poultry or even fish in high temperature causes the fat and juices to drip into the fire which then turns into a different chemical and gets inside the meat when it sparks. This can alter human DNA when consumed to become more prone to developing cancer.


  1. Salt-pickled food: Nitrate is considered a common carcinogen among animals which could also be true for humans. Salt-pickled meat or vegetables are high in nitrates and nitrites which can potentially damage DNA and cause neck and head cancer.


  1. Sodas and carbonated drinks: These beverages are prepared with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which has been considered extremely harmful to humans and also unhealthy. The single use bottles that these sodas are stored in are harmful for our health and the environment too.


  1. Farm grown fish: Farmed fishes are grown in a crowded environment with artificially satisfied requirements through pesticides, antibiotics etc, which all have carcinogenic properties. These are also not rich in omega-3 such as in case of wild salmon and is more harmful than healthy to humans.


  1. Processed meat: Chemicals and excessive salt are involved in the making processed meat which increases the risk of cancer. The meat is also packed with preservatives in order to keep them fresh and covered with plastic. Eliminating this from your diet can subsequently reduce your visits to the health centers.


  1. Packaged potato chips: Potato chips are among the top reasons for weight gain due to the presence of high amount of trans-fat content. It also contains harmful artificial colors and flavors.


  1. French fries and fast food: Cooked with hydrogenated oils and loaded with salt, certain foods heated in high temperature also contain acrylamide which can cause various health problems.


  1. Red meat: Consuming red meat causes a sugar molecule Neu5Gc to enter your own cells which are then fought by our body thus increasing the risk of cancer.


  1. “Diet” foods: Any food you find termed “diet” means substitution with harmful chemicals such as artificial flavors, colors etc, which is not healthy for our body. Diet sodas mean you might be drinking aspartame which is no better.


  1. Refined white flour: Refined white flour is prepared by bleaching using chlorine. The traces of the chemical remain in the flour which is then used for cooking. Also, highly processed foods are prone to causing an imbalance in sugar level that increases insulin level which feeds cancer cells.
  2. Genetically modified food: Many GMOs are grown with chemicals which are used to enhance the flavors have healthier produce etc, GMO`s like corn, grains, soybeans, and potatoes need to be avoided.


  1. Dyed foods: Food dyes are very popular these days which make them look vibrant and fresh. These chemicals are extremely harmful to our body.


  1. Fruits and vegetables which are not organic: Your everyday vegetables and fruits may look harmless, but the number of chemicals used to grow them will directly enter your body which will increase the risk of cancer. It directly affects pregnant women where research has proven that the babies are born with reduced weight and bad immunity.


  1. Smoked nuts: Smoking any food which includes nuts and even meat causes them to absorb the tar which increases chances of developing stomach cancer and colorectal cancer.


  1. Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol has proven to cause various problems in our body. This is especially observed in women who become more prone to developing breast cancer. But moderate consumption with regular exercise and a healthy diet can actually give positive health benefits.


  1. Bagels: These delicious foods that kick up your blood sugar level thus increasing the risk of developing lung cancer. This is a high GI food (glycemic index) which needs to be avoided.


  1. Corn flakes: Corn flakes are among the easiest food to prepare and consume in the morning rush. But this similar to Bagels is a high GI index food which causes blood sugar levels to shoot up increasing insulin production thus increasing risk of lung cancer even in non-smokers.


  1. Very hot beverages: Beverages prepared above 65 degree Celsius or 149 degrees Fahrenheit can be very harmful to the body. Coffee, tea etc is prepared well below this temperature can be safely consumed.


  1. Acrylamide: This is a chemical produced when certain food such as coffee bean or cookies, bread etc, is baked or cooked. While normal consumption of the same is not harmful inhaling large amounts might turn out to have carcinogenic properties.


  1. Water containing arsenic: Although Arsenic is naturally found in the earth’s crust, in its inorganic form it turns out to be toxic. Certain areas across the world have water exposed to the presence of arsenic which is among the top agents that make cigarette smoking to cause cancer.
  2. White bread: White bread and puffed rice are high GI index food and need to be avoided. They have proven to increase the risk of developing cancer by 49%. They can be substituted with whole wheat bread and brown rice.


  1. Dairy products: Dairy products are extremely helpful to fulfill the calcium requirements of our body. Consuming moderate amounts of dairy preferably fresh is considered healthy.

But these products also lower body`s count of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 which has been proven to protect men from developing prostate cancer.


  1. Artificial butter and flavors: Artificial butter flavor enhancements which are used in food such as popcorn contain chemicals which are harmful to the lungs and can increase the risk of cancer cell development.


  1. Doritos: One can never say no to those crunchy, cheesy Doritos which is a snack for every occasion. But a mixture of artificial flavors, vegetable oil, whole corn, soy and cottonseed and more ingredients in them make them a very unhealthy and risky choice.


  1. Chicken nuggets: It could have been the first thing you order every place you go. But various studies have linked the ingredients used in its preparation to have carcinogenic properties and it is hence best to avoid the same.


  1. Dietary supplement: Dietary supplements for various vitamins, iron etc are commonly used by us. In fact, these are recommended for cancer treatment patients too. But various supplements have been proven to enhance the risk of developing cancer.


  1. Instant soup: Instant soup mix available in the stores are easiest to make on a winter day. But they contain a lot of chemicals that give them the flavor which is extremely harmful.


  1. Artificial fruit juices and extracts: While most packed juices are not fresh they also contain various preservatives as well as plastic packing which all increase risk of developing cancer. They also contain high levels of sugar which is unhealthy.


  1. Packaged confectioneries and candies: While moderate consumption of candies or confectioneries will be of no harm, regular and excessive consumption can cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels which increases the risk of developing cancer.

 Cancer Research UK claims that about 4 out of 10 cases of cancer can be easily prevented by paying more attention to our lifestyle choices along with environmental conditions and genes. Healthy food choices can lead you to a healthy life and help you fight the cancer cells. Remember, health is wealth.

About the Author:

Jessica, a registered dietitian, a wellness guru that loves to read, research and write. A fitness freak who believes in healthy living and doesn’t like to miss her yoga. When not reading she can be found relishing her favorite foods.