A List of 7 Foods That Can Increase Your Risk for Cancer

March 16, 2019 Updated: March 22, 2019

Food can harm us or heal us. Put simply, there  are foods out there that we just shouldn’t put in our mouths, let alone give to our kids. Your health is mostly up to you; what you eat and do is critical for good health.

Take control of your own health—don’t leave it up to chance.

Some foods have cancer-causing agents in them, either through what has been added or methods used to prepare and cook them. Do you have any of these dangerous foods in your house? Wouldn’t you rather know about it?

Here are three quick tips to help regain your health:

1. Stay away from processed foods.

2. Eat organic food when possible.

3. Avoid genetically modified food (GMO).

These three tips will go a long way to keeping your internal environment in a healthy state.

Here is a list of seven foods that are likely to increase your risk of getting cancer. Avoid eating them on a regular basis.

1. Genetically modified food (GMO)

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GMOs were introduced into the food chain in the 1990s, and there were never adequate tests done to ensure their safety, according to anti-GMO researchers.

More than 90 percent of commercial crops in the United States such as corn, soy alfalfa, and others are grown from GMO seeds. This means that most consumers of products containing corn and soy, for example, have no say in what they are ingesting. Supermarkets are bulging with foods that have been contaminated in some way by GMOs.

2. Grilled or barbecued meat

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The backyard barbecue has become a way of life in many Western countries; it is a way of connecting with neighbors and friends, bringing in the New Year, birthdays—in fact we don’t need an excuse to throw a few snags on the barby.

When meat is cooked at high temperatures, cancer-causing chemicals are produced, according to Dr. Stephen Freedland, director of the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle (CIRCL). The fat that then drips onto the flames can cause another problem by coating the meat with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another chemical that is linked to cancer.

But take heart, you can still barbecue food in a healthy way. Use gas instead of flames, and flip the meat often to prevent charring. Vegetables are good to barbecue too.

3. Microwave popcorn

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Microwaving your favorite treat can prove harmful, as the lining inside the popcorn bag contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical that has been proven to increase the risk of cancer in rats.

Best to air pop that popcorn.

4. Soda pop

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Having a sweet tooth can lead to overindulging in sugary foods, which can increase the risk of getting certain types of cancers. And too much sugar often is a big factor in obesity; this in turn can lead to cancer.

The more soda pop you drink, the more your chance of getting cancer from these chemical concoctions is increased. The high sugar content is suspected as the culprit, according to The Cancer Council.

There is no direct connection between drinking soda pop and cancer, but evidence suggests it has a link. It’s safer to drink water. Even better, drink tea.

5. Processed meats

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Bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and luncheon meats all usually contain chemicals to keep them fresh. These chemicals, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, are linked to cancer, so why would we eat them? Look for meats that don’t contain these nasties.

6. Hydrogenated oils

Illustration – Shutterstock | Jonathan Vasata

These oils, known as trans fats, are processed vegetable oils. These solidified fats change the cell membrane in the body, leading to all sorts of diseases, including cancer.

7. Farmed salmon

Illustration – Shutterstock | Ekaterina Pokrovsky

Farmed salmon, as opposed to wild salmon, has often been found to contain high levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, antibiotics, and flame retardants, according to Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany.

Wild salmon may be more expensive, but until the industry is more strictly regulated, wild is best.

There are many other foods linked to cancer. It is best to do some research, change your habits, and feed yourself a good diet. As the saying goes, “a change is as good as a holiday.” Your body will certainly think so.