Top Ten Cancer Causing Foods

Cancer is the second most common cause of all death in the United States. It is the cause of nearly 1 in 4 deaths. There are an estimated 1.6 million new cancer cases on a yearly basis. Many forms of cancer have been linked to environmental variables such as air quality, radiation exposure, and lifestyle including diet and exercise. Eating healthy and choosing the right foods can be a major factor in cancer prevention. The top ten most commonly consumed cancer causing foods include:


Non-organic fruits

Many non-organic fruits are coated with pesticides and unsafe fertilizers. Of all non-organic fruits, apples are the worst. Nearly 98 percent of non-organic apples in a test were found to have pesticides on their skin. Other non-organic fruits which typically have a high occurrence of pesticides include strawberries, oranges, and grapes. Many people are under the false preconception that washing the fruit will remove the pesticides. While washing is always recommended and always helps, it does not remove all the pesticides which are toxic to insects and humans alike.


Processed Meats

All forms of processed meats contain numerous chemicals and preservatives. Sodium nitrates which help keep meat fresh are a well known carcinogen. Examples of processed meats include sausage, hot dogs, bacon, baloney, pimento loaf, and other lunch meats.


Microwave Popcorn

Despite being such a convenient snack, microwave popcorn may contain several carcinogens. The lining of the bag itself contains chemicals that studies have shown leads to liver and pancreatic cancer, tumors, and infertility. A chemical applied directly to the popcorn called diacetyl is also believed to potentially cause cancer and can also cause damage to the lungs.


Farmed Fish

Although most people think fish is among the healthiest of foods, certain fish should be avoided. Farmed fish are often fed unnatural diets and are contaminated with chemicals including antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and other known carcinogens. Even though it will cost you more, it is well worth the additional cost to get fresh fish.


Potato Chips

Besides being high in calories, trans fats, and sodium, most brands of potato chips also use artificial flavoring, preservatives, and coloring which are believed to be cancer causing agents. The process used to make potato chips involves high temperatures to make them crispy, but also causes the formation of acrylamide, a known carcinogen also found in cigarettes.




With excess amounts of sugar, artificial coloring, and chemicals, soda has an overall effect of making our bodies more acidic, which has been linked to accelerating the growth of cancer cells. Soda also causes cancer in other ways as well. Most people who consume a large amount of soda tend to be overweight, which is something else that puts you at a higher risk of developing various forms of cancer.


Refined Sugars

Refined sugar is the most preferable form of energy for developing cancer cells in the body due to its ability to be processed directly. One of the most common forms of processed sugar is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup can be found in cakes, snacks, cookies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and a candy. With more and more people consuming these foods every year it is no wonder why cancer rates have appeared to be increasing.


Vegetable Oils

Various forms of vegetable oils are used to preserve processed foods and keep them looking appetizing for a long time after they were created. Unlike butter, vegetable oils must be chemically separated from their source and modified to be appealing to consumers. This often includes deodorization and added coloring which have been linked to cancer. Additionally, vegetable oils have a high proportion of Omega-6 fatty acids. An excess of dietary Omega-6 fatty acids has been linked to heart disease and an increased risk for various forms of cancer. It is important to balance out the Omega-6 fatty acids with a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids often found in fatty fish.


Artificial Sweeteners

Many people utilize artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar in hopes to lose weight or because of other health problems such as diabetes. Despite not being entirely effective, studies are amounting evidence to support the conclusion, artificial sweeteners are a known cancer causing agent. One of the most common ingredients in artificial sweeteners, aspartame, is incredibly toxic to the body and has been linked to potentially causing cancer.


Processed Flour

Processed flour is in nearly every kind of baked good and processed food we consume. The incredibly high glycemic rate of refined white flour causes a dramatic spike in blood sugar and consequently insulin levels in the body, which has been identified as a cause of diabetes. Most notably, the large amount of carbohydrates in flour has been linked to an increase risk of breast cancer in women.


Featured Image: Flickr by poolie

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