What if your staple diet contains carcinogens, but you keep consuming them daily without realising it? Perhaps, the consequences of daily consumption of these foods can be deadly as it can deplete your body’s natural defence mechanism against foreign particles.
While millions of people are being diagnosed with some type of cancer every year, it’s time we took note of our lifestyles, including eating habits, to avoid falling victim to this dreaded disease. A number of studies have linked certain foods to cancer in addition to other health problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Here is a list of foods that you probably consume every day without realising that they may contain cancer-causing chemicals:
You may have to avoid this category because most canned goods, such as canned tomatoes, are lined with a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been shown to genetically alter the brain cells of rats, and may cause cancer in people. Tomatoes being highly acidic are exceptionally dangerous and can cause BPA to leech from the lining of the can into the tomatoes themselves.
You might love the taste of crunchy potato chips, but they are high in fat and calories, both of which contribute to unintended weight gain. Potato chips and French fries also contain higher levels of acrylamide – a known carcinogen that is found in cigarettes – compared with other foods.
Processed and red meats
The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified processed meat as Group 1, carcinogenic to humans and red meat as Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans.
It said that in the case of processed meat, the classification is based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer. Whereas, in the case of red meat, the classification is based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies showing positive associations between eating red meat and developing colorectal cancer as well as strong mechanistic evidence.
All mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat are classified as red meat. Processed meats include hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and most lunch meats.
Microwave popcorn contains chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. The culprit here isn’t the popcorn itself, but it is the chemically-lined bag. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical known as perfluoro-octanoic acid (or PFOA) that has been linked to an increased risk of liver, bladder, kidney, and testicular cancer in humans. In addition, a study from the University of California linked this toxin to infertility in women.
Hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats, are linked to heart disease, immune system deficiency, and cancer. These are vegetable oils that have been processed by creating a chemical reaction with hydrogen – to increase the shelf life of the oil. Margarine is an example of complete hydrogenation. Replacing hydrogenated oils with olive oil, coconut, or grapeseed oil in your diet is a great way to help you live a healthier, happier life.