Everywhere you look, there are lists of super foods that are recommended to prevent cancer. New foods are constantly be coined as the “it food” to prevent cancer and maintain a healthy body, both mentally and physically. But what about those foods that can cause cancer? Processed foods are often the culprit, since they contain carcinogens, a substance that can enable a body to develop a certain type of cancer. As a general rule it is important to avoid processed foods altogether, especially the following foods that are known to be linked to causing cancer. Here is a list of the top five.
1. Microwave popcorn
This tasty treat that is often associated as a movie comfort food, contains a highly toxic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the bag lining. In several studies, it has been proven that people that have been exposed to PFOA have been at a higher risk to develop bladder and kidney cancers. If you want to enjoy your popcorn without worrying about this harmful chemical, make your own or buy it from the supermarket pre-popped.
2. Canned tomatoes
Canned foods are convenient and great for long term food storage. Unfortunately, a ingredient called bisphenol A (BPA), that is used in the lining of cans has been known to be an endocrine disruptor that can disrupt or mimic homones and as a result increase the risks for prostate and breast cancer. Canned tomatoes are extra harmful, because they have a high acidity which allows them to soak up the BPA at a more rapid pace than other canned foods. A easy solution is to buy only fresh tomatoes at your local supermarket.
3. Farmed salmon
Most people are aware of the many benefits of salmon, but not all are aware that the source of your fish matters as well. Farmed salmon has been proven to have high level s of contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and toxaphene, which are known to cause cancer. It is important to buy wild salmon, even if it cost significantly more than its farmed counterpart. Even if you can only afford to have salmon only a few times a month, make sure you treat yourself to a chemical-free fish to avoid any health-related repercussions that might happen in the long run.
4. Hydrogenated oil
Unlike natural oils like olive, soy, or canola, hydrogenated oil is extracted artificially from vegetables and has been linked to causing cancer. This type of oil has a high amount of preservatives in it that helps prolong the shelf-life of many processed foods and change the way they taste and smell. The high level of omega-3 fatty acids found in this oil are more harmful than helpful because they change the flexibility and structure of cell membranes and put you at risk for cancer, especially skin types. The trans fats that are found in hydrogenated oil are known for causing cancer and should be avoided whenever possible.
5. Potato Chips
This popular snack has been known to have acrylamide, a popular carcinogen that is found in cigarettes. This chemical is produced from deep-frying the chips in temperatures that reach 248 degrees Fahrenheit and is a necessary step to make the chips crispy. Unfortunately, acrylamide has been linked with causing cancer and foods like potato chips should be cut out of a daily diet.
Potato chips also are high in fat and can lead to unhealthy weight gain and high blood pressure that can lead to a myriad of health problems, including cancer. A healthy snacking alternative is to make your own chips out of olive oil and potatoes or trade potato chips for healthier alternatives such as kale or banana chips.