More evidence is suggesting that certain foods increase your risk of developing cancer. While the nutritional value of certain foods can be debated, researchers are growing more confident about the connection between unhealthy foods and high cancer risk. Here are the six foods that increase your risk the most.
According to recent estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Project, a top research organization, more than 30,000 cancer deaths per year are correlated with a diet that is high in processed meats. That finding was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well. The WHO actually put processed meats in the same category as smoking and asbestos when assessing its risk of cancer in humans. Examples include hot dogs, ham, and canned meat.
Red Meat ranked just below processed meat in the WHO report. This means that it is “probably carcinogenic” to humans. There is some evidence that red meat is associated with colorectal cancer, but it is limited. Some studies have also suggested a link between pancreatic and prostate cancer and red meat consumption. Red meats include beef, veal, pork, and lamb.
A new large study in France concluded that there is a serious link between sugar consumption and cancer, which has bad implications for soda. The study found that just one sugary drink a day contributed to nearly a 20% increase in cancer risk, with an especially high prevalence of breast cancer.
Sodas were not the only culprit in the connection between sugar and cancer. The French study also implicated 100% fruit juice, even though the sugars in these juices are all natural. The researchers stressed that any sugary drink intake will lead to a significant increase in a person’s cancer risk.
The National Cancer Institute now recognizes a near consensus that drinking alcohol is correlated with a few different types of cancer. The National Toxicology Program from the US Department of Health actually lists alcohol as a carcinogen. The evidence shows that the more a person drinks, and the longer period they drink for, increases their risk of cancer. While occasional drinking may not have an adverse effect on weight loss or overall health, long-term drinking can significantly increase a person’s cancer risk.
Ultra Processed Foods
The same group that found the connection between sugary drinks and cancer also found a cancer connection with ultra processed food. It classified ultra processed foods as those that use industrial processes to modify the food. These include most mass produced foods like bread, buns, and desserts, and reconstituted meat products like chicken nuggets. A ten percent increase in consumption of these foods was linked to a 12 percent increase in cancer risk.
The US Department of Health stresses that people should stay away from these processed foods that are not produced naturally. Not only will that reduce your risk of cancer, but it is also the best way to maintain good overall health and other healthy habits.