Many people think that cancer is just a matter of genetics, a matter of what someone inherits from their family when they are born. And while it is true that if a member of the immediate family (like a parent or sibling) has had cancer, then the individual’s chances are greater of developing it as well, there are other forces at work here. Many cancers can be caused by exposure to toxins in the environment – even in a person’s diet. Unfortunately, in the American diet, which relies so heavily and processed and fast foods, there are many foods, additives and preservatives that have been linked to cancer and that people expose themselves to on a daily basis. Read on to find out more about what toxic foods and ingredients to avoid.
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are industrially processed to the point where they can no longer be considered natural (even though they are based on vegetables products). Apart from the fact that they are rich in trans fats (which have been linked to heart attacks), these oils also provoke an inflammatory response in the body; this chronic inflammation is a major risk factor for cancer development. (1)
Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are incredibly popular preservatives, used largely in the food industry to extend the shelf life of certain products. They are most commonly found in processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, salami, deli meats and the like. And while they are common, they have been linked in several studies to cancer development, especially cancer of the prostate. (2)
Whether it is a matter of table sugar, high fructose corn syrup or (worse yet), artificial sweeteners like aspartame, this stuff is bad news. Not only have such ingredients been associated with an increased risk in obesity, diabetes and heart disease, but aspartame has been linked to cancerous brain tumors and other neurological issues. (3)
Many processed and pre-packaged foods especially contain ingredients that have been genetically modified: Monsanto is literally everywhere in the American diet! Monsanto has genetically modified many plants like corn to withstand heavy amounts of the pesticide Roundup, which has been linked with neurological issues like brain cancer and autism. Products with high fructose corn syrup or corn starch, then, are very likely to be genetically modified and should be avoided. (4)
No one’s chances of developing cancer can be completely eradicated. However, lifestyle changes and choices make a huge difference in greatly lowering the risk of cancer development. Diet especially is incredibly important to a healthy lifestyle that reduces cancer risk, so avoiding the foods and ingredients listed above is one great way to keep the body as healthy and cancer-free as possible!