Cancer is a life-threatening disease that is becoming dramatically common in India. And the most common cause of cancer is tobacco which leads to mouth or lung cancer. But did you know food or diet could also be the reason behind cancer? Well, if you didn’t, let us tell you it is.
Certain foods can increase the risk of cancer which can eventually become life-threatening. But what are those foods? Well, this is what we’ll discuss in this article. We’ll talk about foods for a cancer patient to avoid and alternatives that you can take for cancer prevention.
What Foods Increase Your Chances of Getting Cancer?
Alcohol consumption is linked to cancer in several regions of your body, such as:
The more alcohol you drink/consume, the more you are at risk of cancer. Also, alcohol consumption leads to obesity which is further linked to cancers. So, make sure to limit alcohol consumption. As per the American Cancer Society, men should limit to 2 drinks a day while women should limit to one.
Alternative: Fresh lime, mojito, mocktails, and soda are way better than alcohol. Not only do they have no side effects, but they also taste good.
Processed Meat Products
Processed meats are preserved through drying, curing, and canning to increase their shelf life. Also, processed meat is cooked at high temperatures and contains a high amount of fats and cancer-causing chemicals.
Furthermore, research shows that people who regularly consume processed meats are at a higher risk of getting colorectal cancer. Here are some processed meats that you should avoid:
- Bacon and Pancetta
- Hot Dogs
- Corned Beef
- Meat Jerky
- Canned Meats
Alternative: Instead of consuming processed meat, you can cook fresh meat at home.
Sugar itself may not lead to cancer, but too much sugar consumption leads to obesity. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being obese or overweight brings the risk of about 13 types of cancers.
However, that never means you have to completely leave sugar once and for all. You just need to keep an eye on the overall sugar intake and make sure you never consume too much. Common sources of sugar are:
- Sweetened Tea or Milk
- Ice Creams
- Carbonated Drinks
- Soft Drinks
- Fruit Drinks
Alternative: Go for food items that have low sugar content in general.
Excessive consumption of fried foods can boost the growth of cancerous cells in your body. When you fry foods such as meat or potatoes at high temperatures, a compound called acrylamide is released, which can damage your DNA and also contains carcinogenic properties.
What’s more, fried foods increase inflammation and oxidative stress, which is known to promote the growth of cancerous cells. So, make sure to limit or reduce the consumption of fried food items.
Alternative: Find and rely on other sources of cooking food such as roasting, steaming, baking, etc.
All refined products from sugar, flour, to oil can lead to the development of cancerous cells. Also, studies suggest that consumption of processed carbs and sugars can lead to inflammation which is further linked to different types of cancers.
Furthermore, people who consume a diet rich in refined products are at a bigger risk of uterine, breast, and ovarian cancer.
Alternative: Instead of using refined oil, you can go for olive oil, and instead of sugar, you can go for jaggery.
Apart from the above-mentioned, one should avoid foods with artificial colors and preservatives.
What Foods in General Lower the Risk of Cancer?
Here are some foods you can rely on for cancer prevention:
- Broccoli: According to research, it lowers the risk of breast cancer by 75%. It's probably the best food for cancer patients.
- Carrots: As per research, carrots reduce the risk of stomach cancer by almost 26%.
- Beans: Beans are fiber-rich, which is good for the gut and also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil also protects you from a type of cancer.
- Turmeric or Haldi: This food item comes with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
- Citrus Fruits: A review of multiple studies showed that citrus fruit intake could lower the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The above-mentioned foods help you with cancer prevention and enhance your digestive health. So, make sure to include all of them in your diet.
Here are some important key takeaways from this blog:
- Food can also increase the risk of cancer.
- Avoid consuming foods that put you at risk of cancer and find healthy alternatives.
- Consume food items that have anti-cancer properties.