The American Institute for Cancer states on their website, “Research has shown that most cancers can be prevented. Scientists now estimate that 60 percent to 70 percent of cancers are all preventable through currently available information and simple changes in diet and lifestyle.” With that encouraging statement in mind, this article addresses changes you can make in your day to day dietary lifestyle that will not only improve your health, but help you to avoid toxins that can increase your chance of cancer.
BPA lined cans- This ingredient found in hard plastics and resins is used to coat metal cans. Laboratory studies in cells and animals have linked BPA to cancer, infertility, diabetes and obesity. Unless a canned item is labelled BPA free, it’s likely to contain bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA can also be found in numerous plastic products and dental composites.
Cured and Smoked Foods- Nitrates and nitrites act as preservatives to prevent food from spoiling, they also add color to meats. When cooked, nitrites and nitrates change into by-products called N-nitroso compounds, such as nitrosamines and nitrosamides. N-nitroso compounds are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Farmed Fish- According to Food and Water Watch, farmed fish contain higher levels of chemical pollutants than wild fish, including PCB’s a known carcinogen. Due to overcrowding in fish farms, fish are more susceptible to disease increasing the use of antibiotic use. They are also more susceptible to sea lice, which means they are also treated with pesticides.
GMOs– Sadly GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) have infiltrated our food supply at an alarming rate. GMO foods should be avoiding. Look for GMO free labels on foods. To learn more about GMOS and their health risks go to: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-education
Grilled Meat- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, are produced through certain types of combustion, such as the burning of coal or wood. An additional problem is created when fat from meat drips onto a fire, creating a flare up and smoke, this allows the PAHs yo affix themselves to the food you’re cooking increasing your risk for carcinogenic exposure.
Hydrogenated Oils- Hydrogenated oils, also known as trans- fats are a man-made product. These oils have a chemical structure that has been altered to prevent the product from going rancid in order to increase their shelf life. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that trans fats promote immune system over-activity and inflammation and are linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other chronic diseases. In addition to being chemically extracted from their source, chemicals are also used to mask the odor and change the taste of the oil.
Microwave Popcorn– These bags are lined with Perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to prevent oil from soaking through the packaging. When heated, these chemicals leach into the popcorn; when ingested, they show up as blood contaminants. PFOA has been associated with tumors in animal organs (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers.
Non Organic Fruits & Vegetables– Conventionally grown crops are grown with pesticides, herbicides and GMO seeds. All of which are hazardous to your health. To learn more about the hazards of eating conventionally grown food read EWG’s 2015 “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
Processed foods– Cured meats tend to be high in nitrites and nitrates, preservatives that can, in large amounts, potentially increase your risk of stomach and other cancers. Processed foods are generally full of white flours, sugars, oils, colors, flavorings and other unhealthy ingredients.
Refined Sugars- Researchers have found links between sugar and numerous issues such as unhealthy levels of blood fats, low HDL levels, increased risk for heart disease, higher blood triglyceride levels, obesity, immune suppression, arthritis and a host of other ills. Cancer cells thrive on sugar.
Soda/ Sports Drinks- There is no nutritional value in drinking soda or sports drinks. These drinks contain high fructose corn syrup, sugar, dyes, brominated vegetable oil (a flame retardant), aspartame and other chemicals. They rob your body of much needed vitamins and minerals.
Soy Protein Isolate– 90-95 percent of U.S.-grown soybeans, used to create soy protein isolate, are “Roundup ready,” which means they have been genetically altered to withstand herbicides. According to the American Dietetic Association, soy protein isolates are known to contain anti-nutrients that can develop or delay the body’s ability to digest food and absorb the nutrients into the blood stream. Soy goes through a highly industrial manufacturing process of acid washing in aluminum tanks. Aluminum is highly toxic to the nervous system and kidneys
Sugar- Cancer cells thrive on sugar and any food that converts to sugar, such as grains, pastas, carbs, breads and most fruits. So for those who are dealing with cancer, eliminating sugar is key. For those who are looking to maintain health, eating a balanced diet that includes fruit is not as big of an issue.
White Flour- Commercially grown grains begin with seeds that are treated with fungicide. The plants are then sprayed with pesticides. They are harvested and stored in bins coated with insecticides. Which all increase your toxic load. Grains are then processed in high temperature, high speed rollers. Chlorine oxide in the form of a chlorine gas bath is used as a whitener, as well as an aging agent. What you end up with is a starch devoid of nutrients and full of toxins.
This guest post was written by Elisha of My Health Maven. She is deeply passionate about educating people and empowering them to lead healthier lives. I encourage you to check out her blog.