1. Processed Meats
Lunch meat tends to be a favorite food, especially among the younger crowds out there. Unfortunately, food items such as ham, turkey, bacon, sausage, and even hot dogs, are loaded with chemical preservatives to help the meat appear fresh and healthy. These preservatives can cause cancer within the human body, though. Both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite have been known to increase the chances of contracting colon and other forms of cancer. Choosing uncured meat products made without the use of either preservative, and preferably grass-fed sources, is the best option for avoiding this issue altogether. However, even eating processed meats in moderation can be fine. For those that eat it regularly, though, it may be time to switch to something on the healthier side of the spectrum in the near future. Be sure to check the labels on the meat you purchase within the store, or ask an associate at said store before buying.
Soda, much like processed meats and the other food items on this list, cause cancer when drinking in excess. The liquid within those colorful cans tends to be loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and coloring, which all help to acidify the body and feed the growth of cancer cells. Common soda chemicals, such as caramel coloring and its derivative 4-methylimidazole, have both been linked to causing cancer within someone. Again, drinking soda in moderation can be helpful to reduce the risk of contracting cancer through the chemicals within the drink. However, drinking more than one per day is quite bad for you. Cutting the use of soda out altogether could be the best option you have for leading a healthier, cancer-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are so many other food items out there that can feed cancer growth that it is hard to count on dropping one item to really help. It’s a start, though.
3. Microwave Popcorn
It is hard to obtain the same level of quality and nostalgia that grabbing a bucket of popcorn at the latest movie to release can incur within someone. However, the option to purchase microwave popcorn in easy to use bags has ensured everyone can have their favorite late night snack right from home. Unfortunately, those bags are lined with chemicals to ensure the contents inside are kept fresh for when they are eaten. These chemicals have been found to cause not only infertility, but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers in people. The chemical, which the Environmental Protection Agency has found to be perfluorooctanoic acid, is found within the lining of the bag. This chemical, thanks to studies, has been known to to cause tumors within the human body. A chemical within the popcorn itself has also been known to cause both lung damage and cancer, too. Cutting it out altogether could be beneficial.
4. Diet Foods
Stores and the brands that are sold within them try to push a lot of products, especially frozen meals, off as a completely healthy, low-fat option for those on a diet at the moment. However, the majority of these diet foods tend to be incredibly bad for people. These meals are said to be worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda, for example. Studies by the European Food Safety Authority have revealed that apartame, one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners, can cause a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose, saccharin, and other artificial sweeteners have been linked to causing cancer, too. The boxes for these frozen meals may lead you to believe they are healthy due to their contents, or lack thereof, but it is what has been added in to ensure it is fresh that is the real danger within the packaging. Moderation remains key.
5. ‘Dirty’ Fruits
Most people get it in their mind that they are heating healthier than most others when they opt for apples, grapes, or strawberries while they are in the store shopping. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Unless the consumer is purchasing organic or those fruits verified to be completely pesticide-free, the risk of cancer is rather large. The Environmental Working Group has discovered that 98 percent of conventional produce, especially those within the ‘dirty’ fruits list, is contaminated by cancer causing pesticides. When eaten by a pregnant women, babies have been found to be born with a reduced body weight. Along with that, the chemicals found within the pesticide residue on apples, oranges, strawberries, and grapes are some of the worst around. 90 percent of these fruits were found to contain the pesticide residue. Washing, unfortunately, does not always help remove this residue. Verify what was used in the cultivation before purchasing ‘dirty’ fruits.
6. Canned Tomatoes
The majority of canned products sold within your local shopping mart are a cause for concern, but canned tomatoes appear to be the worst. The lining in the cans used to contain said food is made using a chemical known as bisphenol-A, or BPA. This chemical is highly toxic to the human body and will speed the growth of cancerous cells inside. However, tomatoes tend to be exceptionally dangerous due to the high levels of acidity within them. This acidity causes the BPA to leech from the lining of the can and into the food themselves. These can be so high in fact that the consumer should consider not feeding their children canned tomatoes whatsoever. There are currently no FDA laws that require a company to label BPA. In order to avoid these chemicals, consumers should purchase fresh tomatoes or glass bottles for their sauce. Moderation may not be key in these circumstances due to the acidity within the tomatoes themselves.
7. Farmed Salmon
Fish is considered one of the healthiest options you can pick when you’re shopping for meat in the store. However, farmed salmon is something you should really avoid when you’re looking for a healthy option. Unfortunately, over 60 percent of the salmon consumed within the United States was raised on a farm specifically built for that purpose. These fish are fed unnatural diets that are full of chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, and other well known carcinogens. These animals live in crowded conditions that have been found to have 30 times the number of sea lice than wild salmon. The chemicals these fish are fed help ensure their meat is the reddish pink color that should occur naturally, but doesn’t. There are also less healthy omega-3 that is known to be within fish. High levels of PCB’s, mercury, and cancer causing dioxins are located within farmed salmon. Avoid these and purchase canned or look for labels that state the fish you are using is wild sockeye salmon.
8. Hydrogenated Oils
Processed foods are really bad for you, this we probably all know already. However, it is what is in the processed food that is the problem for most people. These hydrogenated oils are commonly used to preserve processed food and to keep them stable while being stuck on a shelf for long periods of time. These oils tend to alter the structure and integrity of cell membranes within the human body, which tends to lead towards diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are working to remove the usage of hydrogenated oils and replace them with palm oil or another safe alternative. Trans fats are still widely used, unfortunately. Vegetable oils tend to contain high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids, of which an excess can cause health problems. A balance must be formed between Omega 3 and Omega 6 for a healthy diet. Supplements and grass fed meats should do the trick to balance oils out.