What you put in your body matters.
Not only does it affect your mood and energy, but it can save your life.
We now know that most cancer is lifestyle generated and can be prevented. Oncologists approximate almost 70 percent of cancers can be changed by diet alone.
So yes, the good news is that we can show you how to improve your health and decrease your risk of cancer by adjusting your diet a little. That said, we highly recommend that you avoid the following 8 foods altogether:
1. Refined Sugar
The biggest cancer causing food (by far) is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other refined sugars. Even brown sugar is highly refined white sugar with some of the removed molasses added back in for flavor and color.
Refined sugars (and foods made with them) are the source of major insulin spikes and feed the growth of cancer cells. Since the majority of the sugar supply in the U.S. is made using genetically modified (GMO) sugar beets, a healthier option is organic honey, coconut sugar, or maple sugar.
Now that oncologists are using diabetes medication to fight cancer cells, there’s no doubt (finally) that those mutated cancer cells love sugar.
2. Farmed Salmon
Sure, it’s cheaper than the wild-caught stuff, but farmed salmon has higher levels of potentially cancer-causing contaminants.
On average, farmed salmon has 16 times the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in wild salmon, four times the levels in beef, and 3.4 times the PCBs found in other seafood, the Environmental Working Group reports.
Instead, “choose wild-caught salmon and bake it with heart-healthy olive oil, ” suggests Steven G. Eisenberg, DO, an oncologist at the California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence in San Diego.
Salmon is rich in healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids, and when consumed in place of a high-fat protein source, it can help control weight. “Obesity is a major risk factor for many cancers.” Other cancer-fighting foods can also help.
Dr. Eisenberg is a teetotaler. In fact, he hasn’t had so much as a sip of alcohol since his college days. “The research linking alcohol to cancer risk is strong,” he says.
Clear patterns have emerged between alcohol consumption and the development of head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast, and colon cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Numerous studies have examined the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of other cancers, including cancers of the pancreas, ovary, prostate, stomach, uterus, and bladder,” Dr. Eisenberg adds, noting that they’ve found either no association or that the evidence is inconsistent.
If you’re not ready to go completely dry, cutting back can be a good small step. These tips can make limiting alcohol easier.
4. Processed Meat
Sausages, bacon, hot dogs, bologna, pimento loaf, prosciutto—these processed meats contain various chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrates, which make them look appealing and fresh but can become carcinogenic when exposed to high heat or conditions of high acidity.
Smoked meats are particularly dangerous, as the meat picks up tar from the smoking process. (You might remember tar as the deadly ingredient contained in cigarettes).
In a study published in the Journal of BMC Medicine, researchers wrote that the excessive salts and chemicals used to make processed meats are dangerous to health.
Study participants who ate 160 grams or more of processed meats increased their risk of early death as much as 44 percent within 12 years, as opposed to those who ate 20 grams or less.
5. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils, which cannot be naturally extracted like olive oil, soy or canola oil, they must be chemically removed.
They are commonly used in many foods in your pantry to preserve and keep their shelf life, yet they are also linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease and many other fatalities. NEVER cook with hydrogenated oils and check your labels for healthy oils like olive, soy and canola instead.
Although calcium is great for bone strength, experts are discovering a link between high calcium intake and the development of prostate cancer. This is because calcium-rich dairy products can lower your body’s count of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.
This hormone is known to actively protect men against prostate cancerous cells, so, by lowering your body’s natural count, you’re raising the chances of the cancer’s development.
In a study conducted by the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, an evident link between high consumption of dairy and calcium products and the development prostate cancer was discovered.
Results showed that the men with the highest consumption rates of dairy were more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who consumed less.
7. White Flour
When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed. Then it’s bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers. The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel.
Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance. Simple sugars (like refined carbohydrates) are the preferred fuel source for cancer.
8. Artificial Sweeteners
Dr. Bonta won’t even keep artificial sweeteners in the house due to potential cancer risk. Dr. Eisenberg takes a more cautious approach to the use of sugar substitutes; choosing plant-based, no-cal Stevia instead of the sweeteners typically found in the blue, pink, and yellow packets.
“Research into the potentially toxic effects of other artificial sweeteners is under way, so why not use something natural until we have sound research?” he asks. “We don’t know what we will find out in the next 10 years.” Here’s what happens to your body when you go cold turkey on fake sugars.