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5 Cancer-Causing Foods You Must Avoid

5 Cancer-Causing Foods You Must Avoid

Everywhere you look, there are lists of super foods that are recommended to prevent cancer. New foods are constantly be coined as the “it food” to prevent cancer and maintain a healthy body, both mentally and physically. But what about those foods that can cause cancer? Processed foods are often the culprit, since they contain carcinogens, a substance that can enable a body to develop a certain type of cancer. As a general rule it is important to avoid processed foods altogether, especially the following foods that are known to be linked to causing cancer. Here is a list of the top five.

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    1. Microwave popcorn

    This tasty treat that is often associated as a movie comfort food, contains a highly toxic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the bag lining. In several studies, it has been proven that people that have been exposed to PFOA have been at a higher risk to develop bladder and kidney cancers. If you want to enjoy your popcorn without worrying about this harmful chemical, make your own  or buy it from the supermarket pre-popped.

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      2. Canned tomatoes

      Canned foods are convenient and great for long term food storage. Unfortunately, a ingredient called bisphenol A (BPA), that is used in the lining of cans has been known to be an endocrine disruptor that can disrupt or mimic hormones and as a result increase the risks for prostate and breast cancer. Canned tomatoes are extra harmful, because they have a high acidity which allows them to soak up the BPA at a more rapid pace than other canned foods. A easy solution is to buy only fresh tomatoes at your local supermarket.

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        3. Farmed salmon

        Most people are aware of the many benefits of salmon, but not all are aware that the source of your fish matters as well. Farmed salmon has been proven to have high levels of contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and toxaphene, which are known to cause cancer. It is important to buy wild salmon, even if it cost significantly more than its farmed counterpart. Even if you can only afford to have salmon only a few times a month, make sure you treat yourself to a chemical-free fish to avoid any health-related repercussions that might happen in the long run.

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          4. Hydrogenated oil

          Unlike natural oils like olive, soy, or canola, hydrogenated oil is extracted artificially from vegetables and has been linked to causing cancer. This type of oil has a high amount of preservatives in it that helps prolong the shelf-life of many processed foods and change the way they taste and smell. The high level of omega-3 fatty acids found in this oil are more harmful than helpful because they change the flexibility and structure of cell membranes and put you at risk for cancer, especially skin types. The trans fats that are found in hydrogenated oil are known for causing cancer and should be avoided whenever possible.

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            5. Potato Chips

            This popular snack has been known to have acrylamide, a popular carcinogen that is found in cigarettes. This chemical is produced from deep-frying the chips in temperatures that reach 248 degrees Fahrenheit and is a necessary step to make the chips crispy. Unfortunately, acrylamide has been linked with causing cancer and foods like potato chips should be cut out of a daily diet.

            Potato chips also are high in fat and can lead to unhealthy weight gain and high blood pressure that can lead to a myriad of health problems, including cancer. A healthy snacking alternative is to make your own chips out of olive oil and potatoes or trade potato chips for healthier alternatives such as kale or banana chips.

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            Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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