Cancer Causing Foods in Everyday Diet You Should Avoid
Just a few days ago, on February 4th, the planet marked “World Cancer Day”. To help increase our awareness and try to understand cancer better, let us look at a few foods that we consume in our everyday lives that can be carcinogenic, i.e., have the ability to cause cancer if taken in large quantities over an extended period of time.
The chances of someone developing cancer are determined by a host of factors, which can be broadly categorised into environmental components and genetic components. Family history, age, gender, etc. are genetic factors and beyond your control. However, you can take care of the environmental factors and significantly reduce the risk of cancer. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are best avoided.
The most diagnosed cancers in males are lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver. In females, it is breast, colorectal, lung, cervix and stomach. If you look closely, these are mostly dependent on the gastrointestinal system. In other words, what we eat contributes a lot to our risk of developing cancer. Some of the foods that should be avoided in large quantities are:
Transfats: As the name implies, transfats are fats obtained after chemical treatment of vegetable oils. The levels of omega-6 fatty acids in oils, like dalda, make it highly carcinogenic.
Soda and fizzy drinks/soft drinks: Who doesn’t like a nice cooling drink on a hot day? It is also not uncommon to be welcomed with a tray of soft drinks when we visit someone’s home. It is a gesture of good hospitality. However, the unhealthily high levels of sugar in these drinks do not provide any nutritional value. In addition to that, they shoot up the insulin levels in the body, which can act as a home ground for cancer cells.
Refined sugar/white sugar: If you are someone who does not start your day without your usual cup of hot chai or coffee with sugar, prepare to be ready to change the habit! The medical community across the globe is now increasingly making a noise about this subject. Refined sugar is processed chemically and can alter the blood glucose levels. This is one reason for higher cancer risk. If you think you can use artificial sweeteners instead, you are wrong. Aspartame, which is part of artificial sweeteners, is equally harmful.
Canned food products and smoked food products (especially grilled/charred meats) are also being increasingly recognised as carcinogenic in nature.
Though it is impossible to regulate our food habits or change them completely overnight, it is not totally impossible to change things for the better gradually. Consult with a CARE dietician today to get a better understanding of what foods to best avoid to reduce your risk and vulnerability to cancer. They would be happy to advice you about possible replacements and fillers for the foods that you are used to thus far.
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