Your Health and Cancer Causing Foods
It’s hard to find someone whose life has not been affected by cancer, whether first-hand or through the diagnosis of a friend or family member. The National Cancer Institute predicts that approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. This is a huge percentage – that’s more than 1 in every 3 people!
With cancer rates spreading with such rapidness, it’s important to educate yourself on how to avoid the chances of your own cancer diagnosis. There are many ways to take tools into your own hands and make positive lifestyle and health choices to assist your body in avoiding this chronic and life-threatening disease.
Many natural health researchers believe the dramatic increase in cancer is largely due to our environment, including the foods that we eat. In fact, many of these culprit foods are actually promoted and advertised as a health food.
One of the most effective ways to protect yourself against cancer is by avoiding foods which can lead to increased risks of cancer diagnosis. Food can be used as medicine, but it also can act as poison within your body and bring detrimental effects to your health. Here’s the top 9 cancer causing foods which you’re wise to avoid. Cut these out from your diet today and replace with food that will bring health benefits instead!
1. Charred Meat
This can be tough for many people to believe, as barbecuing is a popular way of making food in many cultures around the world. For some people, there’s no better meal than a great piece of grilled steak.
However, when you cook over an open flame and use charcoal, meat begins to char. What really takes place is a caramelization process, which creates various carcinogens, including one known as advanced glycation. Not only is a carcinogenic reaction caused (which causes unhealthy cells to grow) but this advanced glycation also causes you to age faster.
When meat is cooked at high temperatures, it forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The National Cancer Institute lists HCAs and PHAs as cancer-causing in animal models, such as lab rats. There’s an established link between the cancer caused in these test subject animals and the potential for this same effect to take place in humans upon consumption.
Experts advise against eating charred meats, as the chances of developing prostate, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer all rise the more you do. Interestingly, the same polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust fumes is the PAH found in charred meat.
Charring meat until it’s black has been proven in laboratory studies to cause a carcinogenic reaction in humans. Therefore, the less you cook meat, the better. Grass-fed organic meat, in particular, possesses many great properties, but the more you cook it, the less bioavailable the proteins become.
When you cook meat, it often looks like the fat it contains is oozing out. However, we now know that this is actually the serum soluble protein which is coming from the meat. The drier and more cooked the meat is, the less health-giving its properties become.
There are some simple ways to allow you to still fire up the grill whilst avoiding cooking meat to a state where it develops carcinogenic properties.
Marinate your meat – if you make sure your meat has developed a healthy dose flavor our before it goes on the grill, you may be able to lower HCA production as it cooks by up to 70%. Use flavors like garlic, rosemary, fruit pulp, chilli powder, and paprika. A great tip for the beer-drinkers – cooking with beer as a marinade can also decrease HCA’s mutagenic abilities!
Cook for less time at a lower temperature – By microwaving your meat for a minute to a minute and a half prior to cooking, you’re able to reduce its exposure time on the grill. Also consider turning down the heat on your grill or stove. Direct exposure to high temperatures are one of the main culprits of contributions to HCA and PAH production in meat, so cooking at a lower temperature will decrease the risk of these developing in your food.
Choose your mouthfuls wisely – Once meat has finished on the grill, keep an eye on it for charred spots during your meal. These charred spots are hot spots for the very carcinogenic chemicals you’re looking to avoid. This can be limited during cooking by flipping your meat to limit surface exposure. If your meat does end up with some charred spots, just cut that section off and eat around it.
Use the best oil – Many cooking oils do not perform well under high heat (you’ll see this mentioned later under hydrogenated oil). Oils such as grapefruit seed oil and soybean oil can both mutate at high temperatures, which compounds carcinogenic problems. One of the best oils to use when grilling is peanut oil, which remains safe even when flames are brought up to their maximum capacity.
2. Conventional Meat
The other area of concern with meat is that conventional meat products are pumped with antibiotics, steroids, medications and growth hormones. Most of the meat sitting in our supermarkets has been typically fed with GMO corn, soy and various other by-products. These chemicals can be damaging to our bodies, and as a result, the more livestock are fed altered ingredients containing chemicals, the more our bodies are exposed to and are ingesting on a regular basis.
The World Health Organization has a classification system which identifies the risk of different foods when it comes to their cancer-causing likelihood. Processed meats, such as ham, salami, sausages or hot dogs, have been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen, which means there is strong evidence these meats have direct links to cancer. Red meat, like beef, lamb and pork, sit at a different classification level, but are still classified as a ‘probably’ cause of cancer.
When beef are fed on grass instead of grain, they contain higher levels of CLA. Studies on CLA have proved it to contain cancer-fighting properties. Look for beef which has been grass-fed instead of grain-fed in your weekly grocery shops to reap the benefits of this meat and protect yourself from harmful chemicals as a by-product of the meat you’re eating.
Another way to increase the cancer-fighting agents in your body is through eating meat which contains omega-3 fats, such as salmon. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory in nature, which assists in keeping your body’s inflammation levels low and therefore less susceptible to breeding dangerous cancer cells.
Many people have embraced a diet with less meat intake than has been historically normal in our Western societies. If you’re looking to cut down on your meat levels, try some new vegetarian recipes until you find some you can incorporate into your weekly rotations. Meat-free Monday is a tradition which is rising in popularity, which encourages people to have one day a week that is entirely free of meat intake. Alongside the ability to cut some meat out of your diet, there are further benefits to embracing at least a day a week without any meat in your meals. Eating less meat can help minimize the ecological footprint of your food, as stock breeding has a negative effect on the environment. It also helps to ease the pressure on the meat production industry, which has had to develop highly commercial methods of farming, ignoring animal rights in order to keep up with the society-wide demand for more and more meat. As well, there are more health benefits than the decrease in cancer-causing agents as well. A recent Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods, such as meat and full-fat dairy, with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease up 19%. Further research has found that a diet heavy in the consumption of red and processed meats increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
It also helps to ease the pressure on the meat production industry, which has had to develop highly commercial methods of farming, ignoring animal rights in order to keep up with the society-wide demand for more and more meat. As well, there are more health benefits than the decrease in cancer-causing agents as well. A recent Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods, such as meat and full-fat dairy, with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease up 19%. Further research has found that a diet heavy in the consumption of red and processed meats increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The two takeaways here are…
1. Stay away from burnt meat – carcinogenic meat will encourage the growth of unhealthy cells in your body.
2. Eat grass-fed organic meat – this way you’re able to avoid the harmful chemicals which are pumped into conventional livestock and are a by-product of the meat you ingest.
Sugar is another food to avoid in all forms if you’re looking to protect your body from cancer-causing foods. One of the problems with avoiding sugar is that it’s labeled in many different ways, and can be called different things depending on the product at hand. These labels can include dextrose, cane syrup, and sugar sucrose.
Common sugar culprits include sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and fruit juices, sauces (such as ketchup), many snack foods, and even products such as yogurt and bread. There are always alternatives to food products which contain sugar, but it’s a sneaky ingredient that makes it way into many food items you’d never expect. It’s important to learn to read labels and identify sugar in any of its name forms in order to avoid ingesting more sugar throughout your day than you’re aware of.
Sugar has been proven to feed cancer. In conventional medicine, therapies are being developed to target cancer cells using sugar and insulin, as it’s an established fact that sugar feeds cancer and encourages its growth.
Corn syrup is a huge source of sugar that’s made its way into a myriad of products and ingredients. It’s a genetically modified ingredient and has been proven as a major cause if cancer. Keep your eye out for corn syrup listed as an ingredient as the products you’re shopping for and make sure to keep this out of your pantry and off your plate.
The average American annually consumes their body weight in sugar, so identifying exactly where sugar lies in food and the ingredient names it assumes is highly important when it comes to making a true impact on decreasing the ingestion of this cancer-causing ingredient. A recent study by GreenMedInfo has found that not only does sugar feed cancer as a fuel source for an already existing cancer, but it is also a primary driver in oncogenesis, which is the initiation of cancerous characteristics in previously healthy cells.
This study went on to discover that when the sugar availability was interfered with, these cells were actually able to reverse towards their pre-cancer structure-function. Not only was sugar encouraging the growth of existing cancer cells and feeding its growth, but it was causing new cancer cells to pop up in previously healthy cells! However, when their sugar supplies were cut off, these cells were about to return to their pre-cancer shape and structure.
This new research is a strong indicator that sugar is one of the primary causes of metabolic cell changes in the body that are consistent with the initiation and promotion of cancer. Furthermore, by removing sugar from our diets and depriving these cells of access to it, cancer could even be reversed.
It’s already been proven that a ketogenic diet – which is high in fat and protein and devoid of carbohydrates, both in their simple and complex forms – is very useful in the most aggressive types of cancer, including brain cancer. Unfortunately, one of the very reasons so many of us consume sugar and carbohydrates is because of their addictive nature. This addiction and the response it sets off within our bodies makes cutting sugar out of existing diets easier in word than in action. However, if avoiding the growth of cancer is not motivation enough, it’s hard to see what could be more urgent when communicating the importance of cutting sugar out of diets and replacing it instead with food that will nourish the body and provide health benefits in a holistic manner.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
The only sweet thing worse than processed sugar is artificial sweeteners. These are causing major problems in our modern society. They often come under the name ‘sucralose’ or ‘aspartame’. These artificial sweeteners are actually neurotoxins.
There’s a documentary called ‘Sweet Misery’ which focuses specifically on aspartame, so if you’re looking for even more information on these dangerous sweeteners, hunt this documentary down to better educate yourself in looking after your own health and the health of your family. ‘Sweet Misery’ focuses on the link between aspartame and tumors, as well as its link to other neurological diseases.
A recent study on sucralose found it guilty of killing off beneficial gut microbes, also known as probiotics. Another study has also found sucralose to lead to an increase in diabetes rates amongst people who are consuming this artificial sweetener.
Another study has shown a link between saccharin (one of the ingredients in artificial sweeteners) and the development of bladder cancer in lab rats.
Unfortunately, many people turn to artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar, believing it will provide them with healthier outcomes and protect them from the harmful side effects of sugar. However, just because something doesn’t contain sugar doesn’t mean it’s not going to affect your pancreas and small intestines, amongst other organs in your body.
There are documented cases of artificial sweeteners causing an addiction that is worse than the kind which results from recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco or pain medication.
To ensure your body’s protection from the detrimental effects of artificial sweeteners, don’t turn to them as a replacement for sugar – it’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
5. Refined Grains
Refined grains are grains where most of the nutrients and fiber have been removed during the production process. Eating refined grains has been linked to a drastic increase in the risk of developing many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancer. Nutrition experts agree across the board that the intake of refined carbs via the form of refined grains should be minimized. Unfortunately, they are still the main source of dietary carbohydrates in many countries!
Refined grains are digested quickly, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. Many people turn to them when very hungry because of the ability they have to quickly create a feeling of satiety. However, as with any spike in blood sugar, this feeling quickly disappears, and many people find themselves turning to snacks much sooner than they would have if they had consumed a meal high in protein and healthy fats and fibers instead. The feeling of ‘fullness’ that comes from eating these refined grains only lasts for about an hour, compared to foods which are low on the glycemic index, which promote a sustained feeling of fullness for 2-3 hours or more.
Many people are wizening up to the damage caused by highly refined grains, such as those found in white bread. Unfortunately, other types of bread, such as multigrain bread, often hold a similar amount of refined grains, hidden and disguised under a ‘health’ image.
Multigrain bread contains unbleached flour and wheat flour. Both of these are refined, and not only that, non-organic wheat and other grains are sprayed with glyphosate, which is a radically destructive compound which will harm your gut health. These flours are also made up of disaccharide starches, which cannot break down once in the body. This causes an overgrowth of bacteria which leads to an insulin spike and a disruption to your body’s optimum levels.
Out of all of the refined grains, the least damaging choice is white rice. However, brown or black rice holds stronger nutritional benefits and are superior choices as a rice component in your meals.
It’s important to stay away from as many refined grains as you can, as they turn into sugar, and then poison the body with glyphosate residue. They’re also damaging to your gut – there are too many reasons to steer clear of them!
If you’re looking for a healthy bread alternative, the best choice is an heirloom grain or one that is made up of wheat alternatives. Another strong choice is to eat whole-grain sourdough, in which the only ingredients would be whole grain spelt, water and salt. There’s no gluten added to this bread, positioning it as a healthy option.
6. GMO Foods
GMO stands for genetically modified organs. These are ingredients which are not found in nature, but instead, have been produced in a lab. These are dangerous for our health, but unfortunately, with so many genetically modified products on the market, it’s too easy to have these as a part of your everyday diet without being fully aware.
Countries all over the world have been banning GMOs and the pesticides that go along with them in recognition of their toxic effects on people’s health upon consumption. One study has found that glyphosate, which is an ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, has an inducing effect on human breast cancer cells via the effect it has on estrogen receptors.
Glyphosate is a colorless, odorless chemical which is sprayed on crops. This chemical has been found to cause danger to farmers who are exposed to it and to those living close to farming areas. Glysophate has been found to double the risk of blood cancer and to increase the risk of related cancer, multiple myelomas. Lab studies have proven glyphosate’s carcinogenic properties have impacted laboratory animals and have found that human exposure is linked to a higher risk of developing blood cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Some farmers have even filed lawsuits against Monsanto, stating that they have been exposed to an ‘unreasonably dangerous’ chemical through the use of this Roundup herbicide. The bottles of this herbicide hold no warning that it is a potential human carcinogen.
As well, this herbicide used on GMO crops includes elements known as ‘xenoestrogen’, which is a foreign estrogen that goes on to mimic real estrogen within the body. This can have devastating effects for many women when an overload of estrogen can increase the risk of various cancers, as well as increase the growth of established cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It can also lead to the early onset of puberty, thyroid issues, infertility and many more health issues. GMOs truly are no laughing matter!
It’s hard to believe that genetically modified food, including treatment by ingredients and chemicals which have been well established as causing cancer, are sitting in our supermarkets and convenience stores, making their way into our fridges and pantries, and onto our family’s and our own plates.
It’s important to check the label for all food that you’re purchasing to ensure it’s GMO-free. There’s a non-GMO certification, and also a certified organic label, which guarantees you the food you’re purchasing is GMO-free.
Studies carried out on animals found GMOs had incredibly detrimental effects on kidney function, liver function, and tumor growth. These same effects happen in humans when their diets involve GMO ingredients on a regular basis. Why increase your risk for cancer when studies have proven the direct link between these farming practices and cancer increases?
7. Conventional Dairy
Conventional dairy is a secret source of cancer-causing properties. From grain-fed cattle (genetically modified grains), a percentage of these cows would be given bovine growth hormone, which is generally modified to increase your milk production. They’re also given antibiotics, which has a direct flow through into their milk.
Pasteurization also occurs, which destroys enzymes which help you to absorb the calcium occurring in milk. There’s also xanthine oxidase, which is an enzyme which can be destructive to your arterial walls.
Harvard scientist and researcher Ganmaa Davaasambuu found in his studies that the ingestion of natural estrogen from cows (particularly from pregnant cows) in milk can be linked to breast, prostate, and testicular cancer in humans. These cancers are all hormone-dependent, meaning they require sex hormones in order to grow in size. Dr. Davaasambuu’s studies linked the occurrence of these cancers between countries with a high dairy intake and a low dairy intake, and found that the incidences of testicular cancer between men age 20 to 39 were highest in high-consuming countries, such as Switzerland and Denmark, and lowest in countries where people eat less dairy, such as Algeria. She also noted that natural estrogens are 100,000 times more potent than environment estrogens, and today’s cow’s milk is particularly rich with these.
Dairy farmers now need to milk their cows more often to keep up with global demands for dairy products, and therefore, milk their cows about 300 days out of every year. Often, cows are pregnant during milking, meaning the estrogen content of their milk increases. Milk from cows in the late stage of pregnancy can contain up to 33 times as much of the hormone estrogen when compared to milk from non-pregnant cows. This can be very problematic for women who are at risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, or who have already developed these cancers, as this is the type of cancer that feeds off of the sex hormone estrogen. Milk consumption has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer in the Nurses’ Health Study and in a 2005 study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
One way to avoid ingesting high levels of estrogen and other hormones which are now found in cow’s milk and associated dairy products is to buy organic dairy products, where there has been less interference from commercial farming practices. The best choice, however, is to substitute other types of milk for cow’s milk. There are many on the market, including almond, soy, rice, coconut and hemp milk.
8. Burnt Toast
Burnt toast is another everyday diet item to look out for and to exclude from your plate. When something is overcooked, it begins to produce cancer-causing oxidative compounds, which also cause you to age faster. Even something that seems as innocent as burnt toast can hold potential cancer-causing properties and should be avoided.
Again, the less cooked food is, the better. Eating whole grain bread which has been lightly toasted is fine, but it’s the charred pieces that begin to cause problems.
9. Hydrogenated Oils
Partially hydrogenated, or hydrogenated, oils from GMO crops such as cotton seed, corn, and even sunflower seeds are highly refined. Although these oils are high in Omega-6, hydrogenated oils are some of the most carcinogenic substances in the supermarket. They are damaged fats, meaning the nutrients they possess have been damaged as well.
Vegetable oils go through a high amount of processing before they hit supermarket shelves. A combination of high heat, pressure and chemical solvents is used to extract these oils from plants, which in the process, exposes them to an incredible amount of air and light. This causes an oxidizing process, where many of these oils then become rancid. This renders them toxic and inflammatory. However, they still end up bottled and sitting in our pantries!
The hydrogenated process is used to create a desirable consistency and texture so the oil appeals for use in cooking. Hydrogenating oil makes them ‘creamier’ and causes them to turn solid at room temperature. Essentially, hydrogenated oils are now trans fats, which interfere with the body’s normal metabolizing abilities for ingesting nutrients. This can lead to health conditions such as gastrointestinal disease, immune system damage, liver disorders, atherosclerosis, diabetes obesity, and you guessed it – cancer.
These hydrogenated vegetable oils have been proven through research to be associated with colon cancer, breast cancer, and various other types of cancerous growths. European studies have found that ingesting these oils can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly twofold.
Stay away from hydrogenated oils in your cooking and instead, replace them with the highest level of unrefined oils you can afford, such as coconut oil and palm oil. Grass-fed butter is a better alternative for cooking, as is ghee. This is an easy way to improve the quality of the food you’re eating on a daily basis and ensure you’re keeping cancer-causing agents out of your kitchen and therefore, out of your system.