By Nick Meyer
You might not be thinking about it when you go to have a snack, but some surprising foods have been linked to cancer, and it’s often not necessarily because of the food itself but because of how it’s been processed and what chemicals have been used.
We all have our favorite processed foods, but it’s best to go with whole, unprocessed, organic foods whenever possible. And sometimes, even unprocessed foods (like salmon as you’ll see later) can cause serious problems and contribute to a cancer-friendly environment in your body.
Avoid these 8 foods to help lower your risk of cancer and other diseases:
1. Canned Tomatoes
The lining of most (if not all) canned foods contains BPA, a synthetic, estrogenic chemical even the FDA says is harmful. It has been linked to cancer as well.
You need be especially careful with tomatoes as they have high acidity levels which can cause the BPA to be transferred into the food. Children suffer the most from BPA, with delayed development and early puberty on the list of risks.
2. Microwave Popcorn
These easy-to-make bags of popcorn are usually lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, a toxin found in Teflon and linked to infertility. Consuming this acid increases risk of bladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, and testicular cancer.
The popcorn itself is also full of chemicals and GMO products such as soybean oil.
3. Highly Processed White Flours
Refining grains destroy their natural nutrients, and if that’s not bad enough, mills are so impatient they speed up the whitening process by bleaching flour with chlorine.
White processed flour quickly raises blood sugar and insulin levels, causing diabetes. Researchers believe this could spread cancer cells quickly by feeding the cells directly.
4. Processed Meats
Most lunch meats, sausages, hot dogs, and bacon are processed meats, and those containing sodium nitrates are especially unhealthy.
These contain an excessive amount of highly processed salt and health damaging chemicals. One study showed that eating at least 160g of processed meats increased chances of early death by 44%.
Known carcinogens include chemicals and preservatives like sodium nitrates.
5. Hydrogenated Oils
This is essentially vegetable oil that has been chemically removed from the source.
These oils contain an excessive amount of highly unstable Omega 6 fatty acids that turn into trans fats when heated, which can lead to heart disease and skin cancer. This stuff is in a wide variety of products (including peanut butter of all things) so beware!
6. Farmed Salmon
You must be careful when buying salmon and other fish that are often farmed such as tilapia, if you choose to eat fish that is. Try to buy sustainable and wild caught if possible, so you can know for sure how the salmon is raised; farmed salmon is a dicey proposition these days.
Most farmed salmon is contaminated with antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides and a load of other known carcinogens. Even most salmon’s reddish pink colors are formed from chemicals, something that should happen naturally on a healthy diet.
Studies have also shown high levels of mercury in U.S. farmed salmon.
7. Potato Chips
Other than the fattening calories, trans fat, and high sodium levels in potato chips, they also contain many known carcinogens.
Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives top the list, and when you fry a potato chip, it actually creates acrylamide, a carcinogen found in cigarettes.
It’s safer and healthier to opt for baked fruit chips including organic ones made in a dehydrator at home, or other crunchy and minimally processed snacks.
8. Soda Pop
Consume more than one can of soda per day, and your chance of a stroke skyrockets.
The astronomical amount of sugar and corn syrup (or even artificial sweeteners) in soda can also lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
Pop also contains a mass amount of artificial colorings and chemicals such as 4-methylimidazole (in caramel color) which has been linked to cancer. The preservative sodium benzoate is perhaps as bad as anything, capable of literally starving our cells of oxygen among other health problems it may cause.
Steer clear of these eight foods as much as humanly possible!