Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there are over 10 million cancer survivors living in the country today. While many people view cancer as an uncontrollable disease that simply happens to their body, it’s actually influenced by factors that you have some level of control over—including what you eat and drink every day. If you want to protect yourself from this devastating illness, look out for these seven everyday foods that could be causing cancer!
1. Soft Drink
While we all know that sugary soft drinks aren’t the best for our health, did you know that they could also be increasing your risk of cancer? A study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who drank one or more sodas a day had a significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. The sugar in soft drinks is thought to fuel the growth of cancer cells, so it’s best to limit your intake.
2. Processed Meats
If you’re a fan of hot dogs, bacon, or deli meats, you might want to reconsider your lunchtime sandwich choices. Processed meats have been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends avoiding processed meats altogether.
3. Red Meat
Research has shown that processed and red meats are linked to an increased risk of cancer. This is because these meats contain high levels of saturated fat, which can damage cells and lead to the formation of tumors. If you’re concerned about your cancer risk, try limiting your intake of red meat to no more than three servings per week.
4. Microwave Popcorn
The lining of microwave popcorn bags is coated with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). When heated, PFOA can break down and release toxins into the popcorn. These toxins are linked to an increased risk of cancer.
5. Non-Stick Pans
We all know that non-stick pans are convenient. They make cooking and cleanup a breeze. But did you know that the coating on these pans can release harmful chemicals into the air when heated? These chemicals are linked to cancer in animals, and though more research needs to be done to determine their effect on humans, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using them whenever possible.
Though soy is marketed as healthy food, it can actually be very harmful to the body. Soy contains isoflavones, which are known to disrupt hormone function and potentially lead to cancer. Additionally, soy is often GMO and loaded with pesticides, both of which can be carcinogenic. If you’re consuming soy on a daily basis, you may want to reconsider your diet.
7. Fried Foods
French fries, chicken fingers, and mozzarella sticks are just a few of the delicious fried foods we all know and love. But what you may not know is that these foods can actually be dangerous to your health. Studies have shown that consuming fried foods can increase your risk of developing cancer. This is because the high temperatures used to fry these foods can create harmful chemicals that can damage your cells.
There are many things we can do to lower our cancer risk, but diet is one of the most important. When we make some simple changes to the foods we eat every day, we can dramatically reduce our cancer risk. So next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure not to pick up some of these cancer-causing foods! Give your immune system a boost by adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet (even though they might not be traditional dinner fare). And when it comes to meat—choose lean meats like chicken breast instead of processed red meats like bacon.