Cancer Prevention: Foods to Avoid

It is estimated than roughly half of all cancers can be prevented if people make wise lifestyle choices. With an estimated 1.7 million Americans likely to face a diagnosis of cancer in the coming year, the number of preventable cases is enough to make many people take pause. While many factors should go into a plan designed to lower personal cancer risks, diet is a critical consideration for everyone.

People who wish to lower cancer risks will find eating healthy, balanced meals is a best bet. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy are key. So, too, is avoiding foods that have been linked to cancer’s formation. Here are just a few of them:

  • Hydrogenated oils – Oils that contain trans fats should be off limits. This type of fat is known to promote cancer development, cause heart disease and more. Instead of trans fats, people should opt for olive oil, palm oil and even real butter instead.
  • Fried potatoes – Potato chips and French fries are often cooked in hydrogenated vegetable oil. Add to this the fact they are loaded with salt and they can create quite a health concern.
  • Processed meats – Processed meats, such as deli meat, hot dogs, sausages and others are known to increase risks for pancreatic and leukemia. This is because of their high content of nitrates.
  • Red meat – A number of studies have shown a strong link between overconsumption of red meat and increased cancer risks. Steaks don’t have to be taken off the table entirely, but this type of meat should only be consumed sparingly.
  • Farmed salmon – Fresh salmon is considered the healthier choice because farm-raised fish may contain pesticides, antibiotics and other concerns.
  • Refined sugars – Although not directly linked to cancer’s formation, sugar can increase obesity risks. In addition, glucose is a fuel source for cancer cells. Limiting consumption can help lower obesity concerns, which can reduce cancer risks in the process.
  • So-called diet foods – Food that contain chemicals in place of sugar may also be linked to an increased cancer risks. Saccharin, for example, is known to cause cancer in lab rats.

Eating right can make a very big difference in lowering personal cancer risks. To find out more about preventing cancer, speak with a healthcare provider for a full risk assessment.

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