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14 Cancer Causing Foods to Steer Clear Off

Updated on March 27, 2018
Olivia Philips profile image

Olivia is a nutritionist and diet, fitness, and weight-loss consultant based in Texas. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition.


There is a common misconception that one of the most lethal diseases, cancer is only caused by smoking, drinking, UV radiation, harmful gases etc. That is not true. Cancer-causing agents, or carcinogens, are also present in your daily eatables. It's just that the degree of harm caused by them differs. Tobacco and drugs can be called serious carcinogens.

Well, it's very difficult to tell that what actually causes cancer. Lifestyle also plays an important role in causing cancer. It’s better if we already know about the foods that cause cancer. The most common question related to cancer is, how to avoid cancer? Well, there are hundreds of carcinogens. Hundreds of them are still undiscovered. The least we should do in our daily lives is to cut their consumption.

In this article, we'll tell you what foods cause cancer.

  1. Microwave popcorns- Movie lovers, bad news for you guys. The ready-made popcorns that just need 5 minutes of the microwave is carcinogenic. Actually, the bags in which they are packed contain polymers which are carcinogenic. The artificial buttery flavor that you get in these popcorns is also very harmful. It's better to enjoy this ‘Movie time snack’ from the kernel popping machines. Hence, it can be better to watch movies in theatres or else buy it from one such machines and enjoy your movies at home.

  2. Soft drinks- Well, these drinks are not that soft when it comes to health, given that they too contain carcinogens. Studies have shown that drinking two cans of soda a week can increase the chances of pancreatic cancer. The so-called ;diet sodas’ are also extremely harmful to your health. The best alternative for you are juices(natural) when you want to drink something cold and sweet. Update your vocab and add natural fruit juices to your new cold drinks.

  3. Diet foods- Diabetic? We strongly recommend that you don't opt for artificial sweeteners or diet foods. Artificial sweeteners contain Aspartame that is a carcinogen and has a high chance of causing heart problems. Sweeteners also contain additives that can be addictive. It's better to have natural fruits which have fructose. Don't go for any of the processed diet foods. Nature's nurture is always the best.

  4. Processed white flour- The chemically bleached flour is not only carcinogenic, it’s also glycemic. It raises the blood sugar levels. The higher the sugar content in the blood, higher is the rate of producing cancerous tumors. Make sure that you don't give them a chance to feed on the sugar present in your blood. Go for the non-processed flour. The sugar level increases the insulin production in the body and can lead to diabetes. Hence, take our advice and avoid two deadly diseases.

  5. Potato chips- These crispy mouth-watering snacks can give you cancer. The high trans fat content and high sodium content increase the blood pressure. It contains acrylamide, which is a carcinogen present in cigarettes. Instead of buying these snacks, opt for baked or air-popped ones. Baked apple chips are better. It is always better to prepare chips at home, rather than purchasing them. Always remember, any kind of manufactured (processed) food is not at all good for your health.

  6. Processed meats- A study of over 13 years has shown that 1/17 people died of cancer who ate 160g of processed meats. There are 44% chances of getting cancer in comparison to those people who ate only 20g of such meats. These processed meats contain carcinogens found in cigarettes. So if you want to eat meat, it’s best to opt for the non-processed ones.

  7. Canned tomatoes- Tomatoes contain a chemical Lycopene. It has cancer-fighting quantities. But this holds true only if you consider natural, farm-grown ones. Canned tomatoes are packed in the cans that contain chemicals that disrupt hormonal activity. These chemicals are highly toxic and are very strong carcinogens.

  8. All nonorganic produce- The pesticides sprayed in the fields are carcinogens. To make sure that you eat healthy vegetables, eat only organic ones. Banned in Europe, but still, in use in the United States, Atrazine is very harmful and carcinogenic. Even if you go for the organic ones, wash them properly before consuming. Although washing fruits and vegetables don’t properly remove the pesticides used in the fields.

  9. Hydrogenated oils- These are vegetable oils that can't be processed naturally. The chemical processes make them carcinogenic. Never cook in these oils. These oils use chemicals to increase the shelf life, making them carcinogenic. Instead, opt for olive, soy and canola oils. Make sure that you read the label before buying these oils.

  10. Pickled and smoked food- These salty, ‘taste bud appealing’ foods contain preservative nitrates. These chemicals can easily change the N-nitroso components of the body. This can develop the risk of cancer. Smoked foods absorb the smoke and turn it into tar. It's a carcinogen found in cigarettes. Colorectal and stomach cancer are linked to salty, pickled and smoked foods.

  11. Red meat- Studies have confirmed that red meat increases the risk of cancer. An article from the San Diego tribune states that a sugar molecule, Neu5Gc becomes the part of our body when consumed. When the body attacks it and produces antibodies, it results in inflammation and high risk of cancer.

  12. Farm-raised salmon- Salmon is one of the most healthy foods to consume. The scenario in the US is that more than 60% of the salmon are farm raised. These fishes can be very detrimental to health. They contains carcinogens as they are fed unnatural diet. These fishes are contaminated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals which can give us this deadly disease.

  13. Refined sugars- Elevated insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of cancer. High sugar content in your body increases insulin production. The problem lies in the fact that most people are accustomed to having sugar as part of their daily diet. To keep the cancer away, one has to consume less sugar and keep one’s blood sugar levels within acceptable limits.

  14. Alcohol- It's a well-known fact that alcohol leads to a lot of diseases including cancer, liver cirrhosis, and many more. As a matter of fact, it's the second most prominent cause of cancer in the world after tobacco. The important thing you need to know is that, if you drink it in limited quantities, it can be beneficial. A glass of red wine is in fact very good for your health. But not more than a glass a day.


© 2018 Olivia Philips


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