When your parents were young, no one was concerned about foods that cause cancer. The research was very young at the time, but there were also far less processed foods on the market.
People ate healthier and more pure foods, because that was what was available to them.
Today, it seems like doctors link everything to causing cancer – it’s hard to determine what to really stay away from. While you think you may be doing the right thing for your health by drinking diet sodas or low-calorie popcorn, you’re actually eating some of the worst cancer-causing foods out there!
Below are 16 of the biggest carcinogen culprits that you probably eat every day.
While you may be thinking “Everything causes cancer, so why bother changing my diet,” these 16 common food items have been scientifically shown to significantly increase the risk of cancers.
#1 – Microwave popcorn
Sure it’s easy to pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave when you want a quick and tasty snack, but is it really worth risking yourself for liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer? The microwave popcorn bags you have in your cabinet are lined with carcinogenic chemicals AND so is a chemical in the popcorn itself, which creates the artificial butter flavor. If you can’t give up your favorite movie-time snack, it’s time to switch to the old-fashioned stove top or a kernel popping machine like you see at movie theaters.
#2 – Non-organic produce
You’re not alone in thinking ALL fruits and vegetables are good for you, but there are actually many dangerous pesticides sprayed on non-organic fruits that are linked to cancer. One example is Altrazine, a weed-killer used at many U.S. farms, but banned in Europe for causing severe problems in humans, such as infertility. Another problem with non-organic farmed produce is the use of toxic fertilizers and hormones used to make fruits and veggies bigger. In case you were wondering, the worst offenders are apples, followed by oranges, strawberries and grapes. ALWAYS wash fruits and veggies to be safe, but know that this doesn’t remove all pesticides.
#3 – Canned tomatoes
I know what you’re thinking… You’ve likely heard how the nutrient Lycopene in tomatoes lowers cancer risks, but that benefit is completely cancelled out when the lining of canned tomatoes contain chemicals that disrupt hormonal activity in the body. Since tomatoes are so acidic, the chemical BPA actually leeches from the lining into the tomatoes. This toxic chemical has been linked to different cancers, heart disease and reproductive problems. Next time you feel like making a nice red sauce, go with a glass jar or stew the tomatoes yourself.
#4 – Processed meats
If you’re a carnivore, it may be hard to give up tasty deli sandwiches or cured meats to go with your wine and cheese, but the benefits definitely outweigh the cancerous risk. Processed meats are created with excessive salt and chemicals that damage our health. A study over 13 years showed that 1 out of 17 people died who ate 160 grams of processed meats. That’s 44 percent risk of cancer, as opposed to people who ate 20 grams or less. These meats are so packed with preservatives to look fresh, but they are well-known carcinogens, including the same things found in cigarette smoke.
#5 – Farm-raised salmon
Sure fish, especially salmon, is known as one of the healthiest foods out there, but unfortunately more than 60% of salmon in the U.S. is farm-raised… and could be deadly. Farm-raised fish are fed unnatural diets and contaminated with chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides and other known carcinogens found in materials like asbestos. Farmed salmon is also fattier than fresh salmon, which means it soaks up more toxins. Next time you want a healthy omega-3 packed, treat yourself to fresh Alaskan salmon instead.
#6 – Potato chips
They may be cheap, easy and delicious, but these crispy, addicting snacks can also be deadly. These fatty foods don’t only cause weight gain because of their high trans-fat content, they also have excessive sodium levels, which cause high blood pressure and artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. Another risk is the presence of acrymalide, a known carcinogen found in cigarettes. Try not to feed these quick snacks to yourself or your kids and choose pretzels, air-popped popcorn or baked apple chips instead.
#7 – Hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils, which cannot be naturally extracted like olive oil, soy or canola oil, they must be chemically removed. They are commonly used in many foods in your pantry to preserve and keep their shelf life, yet they are also linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease and many other fatalities. NEVER cook with hydrogenated oils and check your labels for healthy oils like olive, soy and canola instead.
#8 – Salty, pickled and smoked foods
They may be delicious, but many salty, pickled and smoked foods are processed with the preservative nitrate, which changes in our bodies to N-nitroso composites, which are associate with high cancer-developing risks. Smoked foods like meat or nuts absorb the smoke, which contains the same tar found in cigarettes. Colorectal and stomach cancer are linked to salty, pickled and smoked foods. Do you have a taste for these cravable foods now?!