Cancer is associated with fear and there is constant speculation about the causes for cancer. While most people believe that it is mostly smoking and alcohol that could lead to cancer, it isn’t so. Here’s an eye opener.
Cancer can be caused by regular consumption of some unhealthy foods as well. Some very popular, easy-to-cook comfort foods might be the reason your worst nightmare may come true.
Recent research shows a strong link between the regular consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods and cancer. Such foods include fizzy drinks, cereals, ready-to-cook meals and packaged meat.
These foods contain high levels of fats, carbs, sugar and salt but are void of nutritional value. A research team based in Brazil and France explored the link between processed food consumption and an overall risk of cancer, along with risk of prostate, bowel and breast cancers.
The results of the study were based on the data of 104,980 healthy French adults (22% men; 78% women), average age being 43 years. These people had completed a 24-hour dietary questionnaire online.
This questionnaire was prepared to fathom their regular intake of 3,300 different kinds of food items. They took into account a number of cancer risk factors like education, sex, family history, age, smoking status and the level of physical activities they engaged in.
Results revealed that a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods consumed by them was linked to a 12% increased risk of overall cancer and 11% increase in breast cancer risk. However, they could not explore any such link for prostate and colorectal cancer.
Further testing showed no such link between the less processed foods such as canned vegetables, fresh unpackaged bread and risk of cancer. But they did find that less processed foods like fruits, vegetables, pulses, rice, pasta, eggs, meat and fish were linked to a lower risk of overall cancer and breast cancer.
However, this one is an observational study so one cannot make any strong conclusions regarding the cause and effect relationship. Researchers also point towards certain limitations.
The study sample was pretty large so they adjusted for some potentially influential factors. The authors laid stress on the fact that it requires more work for better understanding of the effect of various stages of processing food. The study was published in BMJ.
Here’s a list of foods you must avoid in order to cut your cancer risk.
One of the most convenient comfort foods is microwave popcorn. All you need to do to make them is put the pack in the microwave and set the timing. But, from the chemical bag to the ingredients within, everything makes this food item the centre of all the lung cancer debates taking place all over the world.
From the corn kernels to the butter and oil used, every ingredient of this food is good enough to affect you with cancer. Instead, you can get organic popcorn and cook it in another utensil, in the old-school way. It will taste better and will also be a healthy snack for you.
Canned foods contain a preservative called Bisphenol-A (BPA) which is believed to cause cancer. Tins and cans are lined with BPA and it is quite debatable if the same BPA affects the food and us later on.
High-fructose corn syrup is suspected to be the highest causes of cancer along with other forms of refined sugars. And if you feel that brown sugar is safer, you are mistaken.
Brown sugar is actually a highly refined form of white sugar with added molasses for colour and flavour. These foods are the reason for insulin spikes and they feed to cancer cells too, promoting their growth. You could instead choose organic honey, coconut sugar or maple sugar.
Carbonated drinks are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals and dyes. Needless to explain how these are bad for your health, carbonated drinks are a major cancer-causing food.
If you think diet foods are healthy because the label says ‘Diet’, check your facts. Diet foods are anytime unhealthier than regular foods. They may, for once, contribute to weight loss but, they can increase your likelihood of getting cancer.
So when you enter a departmental store, you are lured towards the snacks section where all the chips and fried snacks are displayed. They are yummy but they are cancer causing as well.
The trouble begins in the manufacturing process itself. The elements that cause cancer still stay in the food when fried. And that is what you enjoy relishing while watching a movie.