Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012. While it is important to get regular check-ups through cancer-related screenings. It’s also important to be aware of some everyday foods that are believed to cause cancer.

Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils, like vegetable oil, contain trans fats. Trans fat is considered to be the worst type of fat there is. It’s known to cause cancer, heart disease, and immune system problems. There is no safe amount of trans fats you can incorporate into your diet. Therefore, it’s better to simply cut them out. Some alternatives to hydrogenated oils are olive oil, coconut oil and peanut oil.

Vegetable oils are chemically extracted from their source, chemically treated, and more chemicals are added to change the smell and taste. They’re packed with unhealthy omega-6 fats which alter the structure of our cell membranes causing cancer.

Processed Meats

Bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats have been shown to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Hot dogs commonly contain sodium nitrite. The salts in sodium nitrate can cause a chemical reaction, which is known to cause cancer. So, try to look for meats free of these nitrites to help reduce your cancer risk.

Red Meat

A sugar molecule found in red meat becomes part of your own cells when consumed. Your body then tries to attack it, resulting in inflammation and a higher cancer risk.

Unlike trans fats, you don’t need to cut out red meat entirely. In fact, grass fed organic beef contains something called conjugated linoleic acids, which can fight against certain cancers.

Farmed Salmon

Should you decide to cut down on red and processed meat, you might find yourself eating more salmon. It is important that you steer clear of the farmed version of this fish, it is often full of cancer causing contaminants like pesticides, antibiotics, PCBs, and even flame retardants.

While wild salmon is considerably more expensive than farmed salmon, it gets the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids that salmon provides, without the contaminants.

Genetically Modified Foods

More and more genetically modified crops are making their way into our food. Over 90% of our corn and soy are now genetically modified. Experts agree that adequate testing was not done before GMO foods were added to the ingredient listing of thousands of products. In other words, no one, including the growers and manufacturers of these GMO foods knew the long-term effect they would have on human health.

GMO foods have been modified to withstand heavy doses of a pesticide called glyphosate or are engineered to contain a toxin that kills bugs. Glyphosate, which is the most common pesticide sprayed on GMO crops, has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, birth defects, intestinal discomfort, among other things.

Look for GMO-free labels whenever possible or buy organic (which always means a product is not genetically modified).

Refined Sugar

The biggest cancer causing food is refined sugars. Refined sugars (and foods made with them) are the source of insulin spikes which feed the growth of cancer cells.

To make matters worse, the vast majority of the sugar supply is refined from genetically modified sugar beets.

Diet Foods

If you see buzz words like “diet”, “low-fat”, “fat-free”, or ‘sugar-free” then those missing items are likely to be replaced with harmful chemicals. Diet foods are loaded with artificial sweeteners, artificial colours and flavours, and more.

Choosing the regular version of these foods in moderation is a better option than the diet counterparts.

Canned Goods

Most canned foods are lined with a product called BPA, which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats. Many plastic goods, thermal paper, water lines, and many dental composites also contain BPA.

Stick to fresh or frozen vegetables that have no added ingredients for your family’s table! These are better for you and available year-round.

Read about the dangers of healthy appearances versus Bowel Cancer

Written by Hannah Kingston | Approved by Medical Director Dominic Rowley