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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

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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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