13 Foods You Should Never Eat If You Don’t Want Cancer

By | November 7, 2018

Your diet affects more than just your waistline. Consuming one or more of these foods regularly may increase your risk of cancer.

Highly processed foods

Close up potato chips on wood top view background.katueng/Shutterstock

We’ve long known that processed foods with an excess of sugar, sodium, saturated fats, and chemical ingredients can contribute to health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity… but cancer? According to a study by French and Brazilian researchers, a 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a 12 percent increase in the risk of overall cancer and an 11 percent increase in breast cancer. So, what qualifies as an ultra-processed food? Things like mass-produced bread and baked goods, soda, instant noodles and soups, salty and sweet snacks, and chicken nuggets. Less-processed foods, such as pasta, canned vegetables, and freshly baked bread, weren’t found to raise cancer risks. These are the cancer-fighting superfoods you should be eating every day.

Crispy potatoes

Crispy potato wedgesRasyidien/Shutterstock

Those perfectly darkened-to-a-crisp potatoes may not be so perfect after all—they may actually be carcinogenic. According to a study from the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), the culprit is acrylamide, a chemical that’s created when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures. Even though a desired browned crispness may seem “natural” when cooking starches, it can potentially increase risk of cancer and possibly affect nervous and reproductive systems. Burnt or blackened starches have the highest amounts of the toxin, and darkly toasted bread is also a problem. To limit acrylamide creation and consumption, the FSA recommends cooking starches to a light-golden color instead of a dark brown. Make sure you stop believing these 50 cancer myths right now.

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bottles of beer chilled in icetaveesak srisomthavil/Shutterstock

Here are some sobering statistics: Having just one alcoholic beverage per day could increase your risk of breast cancer by 5 percent, your risk of oropharyngeal cancer by 17 percent, and your risk of esophageal cancer by 30 percent. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), those numbers go up significantly the more you drink, with those who have more than four drinks per day incurring five times the risk of various throat cancers. ASCO also notes that an estimated 5 percent of new cancers and 6 percent of cancer deaths worldwide can be directly linked to alcohol consumption. So you may want to skip that next round… and cut back on the cocktails in general. Check out these 15 things cancer doctors do to avoid cancer.

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