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Top 10 Cancer Causing Foods That You Should Avoid In Your Diet

Top 10 Cancer Causing Foods That You Should Avoid In Your Diet

Cancer has touched us all in one way or another. Whether it is a friend or family member fighting the battle, or you yourself who have had to fight the potentially deadly disease, everyone has been impacted by this horrible disease.

Even the treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy, can wreak havoc on the body, causing you to become ill, lose your hair and more. Because of all the devastating effects of cancer and even the treatments for cancer, it makes sense that we should do all we can to avoid getting cancer in the first place.

Our foods are one of the biggest sources of cancer causing agents today, but not all foods are bad and not all are good. So how do you know which ones are bad?

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Cancer Causing Foods

There are many different foods out there that are known to contain materials that aren’t only bad for us, but can also increase our risks of developing a wide variety of cancers. Let’s take a look at 10 of the top potentially cancer-causing foods that we all should be avoiding in our diets.

1. GMOs

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are a rapidly growing industry. Today, much of our food supply now stems from these GMO crops. There is debate around whether GMO crops can contribute to the risk of humans developing cancer. For example, a piece by L.Z.G. Touyz published in Current Oncology stated that while a previous study had linked GM foods to causing cancer, the publication had been found to not be subject to “satisfactory objective refereeing, and certain tainted financial interests were also operative”.

2. Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn may seem like a nice, light snack, but you better be careful. For a time, many people believed that inhaling the fumes from microwave popcorn could give you lung cancer. While that has been proven not to be true, there is a lung disease known as diacetyl that is associated with inhaling the fumes from a freshly popped bag of popcorn. In addition, there is a chemical in the nonstick coating on the inside of the bag that breaks down into a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid. A study in 1993 by Dr. Frank Gilliland found that workers exposed to this chemical had an increased rate of cancer mortality.

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3. Canned Foods

If you thought a can was safe, think again. Most cans are lined with a product known as bisphenol-A (BPA). According to breastcancerfund.org, even small exposure to this product can increase the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other disorders.

4. Grilled Red Meat

Almost everyone loves a nice, juicy steak prepared on the grill, as nothing else can truly unlock all the wondrous flavors of the meat. However, studies have found that preparing meats this way releases heterocyclic aromatic amines, a known carcinogen. Think you can just grill this problem away? Sorry. According to the National Cancer Institute, cooking meat at very high temperatures such as on a grill can create these carcinogens and increase the risk for cancer. However, there are still no official guidelines on the consumption of meat prepared in this manner.

5. Refined Sugar

While you may have a sweet tooth, you may want to consider putting down that cookie made with refined sugar. We eat more refined sugar today than we ever have. Eating refined sugar has also resulted in increased rates of obesity, which can also lead to cancers such as breast, prostate, uterine, pancreatic and colorectal, according to cancercenter.com.

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6. Soda

Who doesn’t love a cold glass of their favorite bubby soda on a hot day? However, drinking that soda could be putting you at risk. According to the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, drinking one or more sodas per day could expose you to 4-methylimidazole, a possible carcinogen.

7. Processed Meats

So what are processed meats? There are quite a few. Meats such as lunch meat, hot dogs and even bacon are considered processed meats. These meats are very high in salt and contain a number of preservatives and other chemicals. If you buy smoked meat, that is even worse as the meat often becomes contaminated by carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, much like what happens when you smoke cigarettes.

8. Artificial Sweetener

Maybe you think you can avoid feeding those cancer cells by avoiding refined sugar and opting instead for artificial sweetener. According to the National Cancer Institute, the use of artificial sweeteners has been demonstrated to cause cancer in lab rats, but further study has yet to definitively link cancer in humans as a result of using artificial sweetener. Still, it may be wise to use these sweeteners in moderation.

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9. Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils are essentially vegetable oils that have been extracted from their sources using a chemical process. These oils contain a high amount of Omega 6 fatty acids. These trans fatty acids are known to cause an increased risk in heart disease and some cancers including skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, and rectal cancer to name just a few.

10. Chips

Who doesn’t love a good potato chip? Still, these chips are often fried and very high in fat, and they also contain all types of artificial flavors and preservatives. According to the American Cancer Society, when they are fried in high heat, a product called acrylamide is created. This is a known carcinogen that can also be found in cigarettes!

Conclusion

While many of these foods are definitely quite tasty, consuming too much of them on a regular basis could definitely increase your risk of developing cancer. Seek out alternatives that not only taste great, but are grown and prepared safely so they don’t contain the cancer causing agents that you can find in many of these foods.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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