Published: 12/11/2014 - Updated: 08/30/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
There are certain products in our diets that are allies for cancer and should be avoided. However, because they are heavily marketed, they are largely popular and lead in raking of those that are most purchased and consumed world wide.
Stopping the rate of cancer could be in our hands. The first thing you need to do whenever you buy a product in the supermarket it so immediately review the labels and recognize if carcinogenic elements are present in them.
Read labels well
They are: high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, whitened enriched flour, white rice, white pasta, white bread, and other “white” foods.
An anti-cancer diet contains low levels of glucose that come from refined sugars and sweeteners. This means that you must avoid drinks, like sodas.
Another component that you need to be very careful with are hydrogenated oils. They are found in junk food, or also known as “fast” food purchased outside the house.
These oils are created by heating hydrogen and metallic catalysts and is done to prolong the life of the oil so that it can be reused several times over. However, this process creates harmful transgenic fats. Think about all the big, international fast food chains: it’s not convenient for them to constantly be wasting oils to fry their foods, so they end up using this method.
As we all know, transgenic fats not only run the latent risk of developing any sort of cancer, but they also cause heart disease and interrupt metabolic functions.
The acrylamide factor
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This is a carcinogenic agent that can be found in our own houses. We could even be consuming it every day. They aren’t added to foods, but are created through the frying process. When foods that have starch in them are subjected to high temperatures, they create acrylamides. One Swiss study discovered that acrylamides cause cancer in rats, and even more studies are being done to confirm whether or not they cause cancer in humans. In this case, be careful not to reheat food too much, and/or reuse oils. Be careful with french fries, meats, fried hamburgers, dressings, and other foods that are exposed to this factor. The most recommendable way to do this is to use a healthier oil, like olive oil, and don’t use too much oil to fry with.
Nitrites and nitrates
Sodium nitrite is another carcinogen to fear and it is found in processed meats, like hot dogs, sausages, ham, or any other meat that needs red coloring to look “fresh”. So be careful, now you know how to recognize them. In the past, salt was added to meat to preserve it longer, but now food companies add sodium nitrite to some foods on purpose.
Although today, the use of refrigeration is what primarily protects consumers from botulism and bacteria, manufacturers continue to add sodium nitrite so the meat looks fresher and pinker.
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According to the University of Minnesota, the nitrites by themselves aren’t a problem, as we also ingest them in vegetables; however, the processed meats transform into malignant agents called “nitrosamine”, during the digestion process. Nitrosamine is a carcinogen, but because it isn’t technically an ingredient, it can easily be left off of the container.
Nitrosamines are also found in foods that are aged, fried or smoked; products like beer, fish products, and tobacco smoke.
Some of the foods that are very commercialized and that contain the aforementioned elements in their composition are:
They are high in sodium nitrate, an impressive amount of preservatives, flavoring, and above all, salt. The Cancer Prevention Coalition warns children not to eat them.
Processed meats and bacon
They also contain high levels of sodium nitrate that also increase the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon is a huge contributor to the development of cancer.
Doughnuts are double causes of cancer. First, because they are prepared with fluoride, refined sugar, and hydrogenated oil, and secondly, because they are fried at high temperatures.
French fries in fast food chains
French fries are made with hydrogenated oils and afterwards cooked at high temperatures. They also contain acrylamides that are created during the cooking process at high temperatures. They could be called cancer fries rather than french fries. We recommend making them at home, with olive oil, cooked on low heat and in moderate amounts.
Crackers, cookies, light potatoes
All of these are generally make with flour and sugar. Even those that are proudly presented as free of transgenic fats on their labels, generally contain it, just in smaller amounts.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 08/30/2018
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