Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth that can invade other body parts. Of course, not all tumors are cancerous – some can be benign, but others can spread to other body parts and cause a lot of damage. According to experts, cancer is a complex set of diseases, which are triggered by infections, genes, unhealthy lifestyle and environmental exposure to toxins and radiation.
According to newest studies, poor diet and an inactive lifestyle significantly increase the risk of cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund links 20% of all cancers in the USA with poor diet, weight gain and alcohol abuse. Like most diseases, cancer can be prevented with a few simple lifestyle changes.
First, you should put yourself on a healthy diet and stay physically active. Quit smoking if you’re a smoker, and try to keep your weight in check. In order to reduce the risk even further, avoid eating the following foods:
- Red and processed meat
Bacon, ham, sausages and other types of processed meat are very unhealthy. This type of meat contains numerous additives and a lot of salt, which increases the risk of colorectal and other types of cancer. Instead of processed meat, focus on eating organic and grass-fed meat.
- Refined and sugar-rich foods
Foods rich in fructose and refined sugar can result in many health problems, and they also feed cancer cells. In a study from 2006, people who eat a lot of sugar are at an increased risk of cancer, so limit the amount of sugary foods in your diet and use natural replacements for sugar such as honey, maple syrup or stevia.
- White flour
There aren’t many foods nowadays that are free of white flour. This flour is unhealthy due to the high carb content, which may increase the risk of breast cancer. White flour also increases the insulin levels rapidly, so avoid it or replace it in your diet with quinoa, whole wheat, barley and almond flour.
- Smoked and pickled food
Although really tasty, smoked and pickled foods significantly increase the risk of cancer. These foods contain nitrates which turn to N-nitroso in the body, a carcinogenic compound. Besides these compounds, smoked foods contain a lot of preservatives that can damage your cells and cause cancer.
- Hydrogenated oils
When processed, hydrogenated oils release toxins that can seriously damage your cells and raise the risk of cancer. Instead of these oils, use coconut, palm and olive oil for your meals.
- Farmed salmon
Most of the salmon present on the market is farmed and unhealthy, and differs from natural salmon a lot. Farmed salmon is full of toxins and antibiotics, as well as mercury, dioxins, toxaphene, flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls that can increase the risk of cancer. Remember, the cheaper salmon is farmed.
- Microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn contains perfluorooctanoic acid that can raise the risk of kidney and bladder cancer. According to one study, this compound can cause female infertility, so make sure you’re eating organic popcorn.
- Potato chips
The favorite treat of millions contains high amounts of salt as well as compounds such as acrylamide, which is a known carcinogen. Experts warn that potato chips contains dangerous compounds that can cause prostate, breast, ovary and digestive cancers, and they have a lot of calories as well, which is why you should avoid them. Instead of commercial potato chips, make your own at home with sea salt and olive oil.