Can foods cause cancer? It is debatable, and there are all sorts of provisos surrounding any suspect. Unless there is contamination or other unusual factors, moderation is always a factor in keeping food-related cancer risks at bay. Yet there are foods that have been known to have increased risks, and WellWell has identified seven well-known culprits. Read on and consider.
The first consideration is that food cans may have bisphenol-a (BPA). The chemical may lead to cancer, among other issues. The risk from a can lining is minimal, but that’s where the tomatoes come into play. They’re so acidic that they may have the ability to leech harmful BPA levels from the lining and into the food, especially over time. Extremely rare, yes, but theoretically possible. Fresh tomatoes are the answer.
The debate on soda’s cancer-causing risk has been raging for decades. These beverages contain high levels of fructose corn syrup and other unpleasant ingredients. Sure, fructose abounds in other beverages, but soda has always been a cancer risk. The question may be how much needs to be consumed and how often to present a real health threat.
Holy Orville Redenbacher, microwave popcorn bags may have PFOA, which in some forms, can lead to pancreas, kidney, liver and bladder cancers. The danger with bags comes to the surface when microwaved, and PFOA coats the corn, especially if artificial flavors are involved. It is unclear how much microwavable popcorn someone must eat to create a threat but using a gas stove to pop kernels is just a healthier option.
Alcohol raises the risk of many cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, breast, colon, rectum, pancreas and stomach. Ouch. The more someone drinks, the higher the risk. Mitigate the risk by having no more than two drinks a day.
Processed meats have always been a no-go or at least limited. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has gone as far as to classify processed meat as a carcinogen. How much is too much? One study found that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily—about four strips of bacon or one hot dog—increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.
Processed white flour doesn’t get its color from purity. It comes from bleaching the flour with chlorine gas. This processed flour has a higher glycemic rate, which raises blood sugar and insulin levels. It can support the growth of cancerous tumors.
Salting is a traditional method of preservation in many regions. But the Cantonese Method may be risky because it can lead to the development of the compound’s nitrosamine and N-nitrosodimethylamine. These compounds can increase the risk of nasopharyngeal and stomach cancer. Salting foods may also increase the risk of stomach cancer by stimulating the colonization of H. pylori bacteria.
Are there foods you avoid because of fears they’ll increase the risk of cancer? Let us know at email@example.com.
WellWell editors independently identify services and products of interest. If readers purchase anything through the associated links, WellWell may earn a commission, which goes to support our work. Learn More.