The connection between diet and health needs no explanation. Some foods can increase your risk of developing diseases-or, conversely, can help to prevent them. Every other disease counts obesity and high cholesterol as major risk factors, questioning our dietary habits.
Food and Disease! An undying association
When it comes to food, eating nutritionally sufficient and calorie counted food can be our powerful weapon against diseases. Logically, we can’t deny the fact that we become what we eat. What we consume-and don’t consume- can have a significant impact on our health, inclusive of the disease risks.
Most of us are mindful of the fact that a poor diet can increase your risk of developing diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems and other chronic illnesses. Cancer is another such problem which is affected by our dietary habits to a greater magnitude.
For this very reason, any disease diagnosis particularly, cancer is followed by the questions asking what to eat and what to avoid. If you are on your journey towards better health, you previously came across articles on “magic foods for diabetes” and “10 miracle foods that cure cancer”. Knowing this, I decided to join your mission and write this interesting article discussing the association between cancer and food.
You must be having information about cancer, but let me bring it into light what cancer is and how our eating habits are increasing our risk of cancer development in 2021.
What is cancer?
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases, resulting in millions of fatalities across the world, making it the second’s biggest cause of death in the world. But what is cancer?
To your surprise, cancer is the malfunctioning of one of the most common normal body processes known as cell division.
Cell division is the process that accounts for the growth nourishment and repair mechanisms of our body. The process of cell division is regulated on cellular and molecular levels. Any disruption in these mechanisms can result in uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.
This uncontrolled growth forms a lump in the body known as a tumour. These tumours can either stay at their site of formation (benign tumour) or it can spread to other parts of the body (malignant tumour).
Dietary Habits- A cancer risk factor
Cancer isn’t limited to your genes and environment, it arises from your diet too!
The connection between diet and disease is as secretive as the disease itself. A lot of research has been done in this regard to figure out the relation between the two.
Often discussed as one thing, cancer development involves complex mechanisms and varies from person to person. Just like other diseases, the onset of cancer is also associated with several risk factors.
Many cancer risk factors are just not under our control including genetic and environmental factors. While several others are under our control taking in our food and lifestyle habits. We can categorize our food causing and cancer-preventing foods.
While it is important to quit smoking and opting for an active lifestyle, having control over what to eat and what not to eat, can also reduce our risk of cancer development.
If you are hunting for the foods that can reduce your risk of cancer development, pay heed to the following section enlisting some potential cancer-causing foods.
Common cancer-causing foods
Following are the common cancer causing foods that you should avoid at any cost.
1- White flour
Grains are an important food source and are consumed in both processed and unprocessed forms. On average, a person tends to consume white or processed flour on a daily basis in the qualities that can be harmful to them.
Particularly, in the countries where food culture considers white flour as an obligation, the problem is severe. The white flour is carcinogenic due to a valid reason that during the processing of food white flour is exposed to huge quantities of chlorine gas which makes it toxic.
2- Microwave food products
Our busy lifestyles have incorporated readymade food items into our diet. Talking about microwave food, the bags in which we microwave the food contain a carcinogenic chemical named PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid).
This chemical is an approved carcinogenic component that can result in multiple cancers. While we microwave the food these harmful chemicals become part of food products making turning healthy foods into cancerous ones.
3- Alcohol consumption
Another popular consumable that can cause cancer is alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on your health. It can be damaging to your kidney and liver and increases the risk of liver, colon, oral and rectum cancer etc.
4- Red meat
Meat is a good source of animal-based protein but at the same time, smoked and processed meat can be harmful for consumption. Nutritionally speaking, meat doesn’t contain any substance instead, the processing of meat can add to the toxicity. After processing and smoking of meat, a lot of nitrates and nitrites become a part of it that is linked with the onset of cancer.
Excess of everything is bad and sodas are no exception to it!
Sodas are generally considered harmful due to high sugar content in them. Apart from diabetes, sugar sodas can be a risk factor for cancer. Let me explain it further, cancer cells often form a tumour at a particular place but the tumour can spread to other parts of the body as well. Sugar in your body aids to promote the growth of these tumours. So, based upon these facts, we can justify the role of sugar as a carcinogenic component.
6- Canned food products
Canned foods are not advisable due to several reasons but these canned products can also cause cancer. Can containers are lined with BPA (Bisphenol A), a toxic chemical that is linked with the onset of cancer. BPA in the canned food is a hormone disruptor and persistent occurrence of BPA in food can be a cause of cancer.
7- Pickled food
Pickling food is a centuries-old practice that is known to make food more flavorful. Some health experts consider pickling a process but on the other hand, many others consider it a bad food practice. The pickling process can increase the concentration of nitrates and salt in food that is associated with the risk of cancer onset.
8- GMO foods
GMO foods are the major constituent of our diet due to increased production and enhanced nutritional value. On the other hand, GMO foods are also known to increase our risk of cancer onset. The certain chemicals used to grow these foods are associated with cancer onset.
The Bottom Line!
Summarizing it all, not a particular food ingredient can cause or prevent disease. The frequent inclusion of these things in large quantities in our diet can be one of the risk factors for cancers. So, if you are looking for ways to prevent cancer, your diet is probably one of the first things you can start working on! Let’s start today for a healthier tomorrow.