Foods to Avoid
Yes, it’s important to eat nutritious food throughout your life. At the same time it’s also essential to keep in mind that you avoid foods that can cause harm to your body. The following foods should be avoided not only if you have cancer but also to prevent it, as they can trigger inflammation in our body and cause havoc.
1. Processed meat/ grilled foods/baked meat/ deep fried foods– Processed meat is convenient, easy to cook and affordable. But is it worth all the havoc it can bring about to your health? The answer is No.
Processed meat is preserved by smoking or salting, curing or adding chemical preservatives thereby increasing the risk of developing cancer. They include deli meats, bacon and hot dogs.
According to mdanderson.org, there are three chemicals in particular that have been linked to colorectal cancer. One of these chemicals is found naturally in meat. The others develop or are added as part of the process to produce these meats.
● Here is a pigment found mostly in red meat
● Nitrates and nitrites are added to keep processed meat fresher longer
● Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic amines are produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures
All of these chemicals can damage the cells in the colon and rectum. As damage accumulates over time, cancer risk greatly increases.
2. High salt intake- The findings from many epidemiological studies suggest that high dietary salt intake is a significant risk factor for gastric cancer and this association was found to be strong in the presence of Helicobacter (H.) pylori infection with atrophic gastritis. It’s believed that a high-salt intake strips the lining of the stomach and may make infection with H. pylori more likely or may exacerbate the infection. However, it’s not known whether it’s specifically the salt in these foods or a combination of salt and other chemicals that can cause cancer.
3. Sugary foods- Sugar/ glucose feed every cell in the body, including cancer cells. If you eat too many calories in the form of sugar, the same can result in unnecessary weight gain in the form of fat and having excessive fat percentage in the body, is one of the risk factors for developing cancer.
It’s the kind of sugar/ carbs that you eat matters! When you eat simple carbs or foods high in glycemic index, your insulin levels will spike immediately. Eating constant simple sugar leads to constant insulin spikes, which results in an increased release of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which has been shown to help cancer cells grow. If blood glucose levels are better controlled, less IGF is released which likely will decrease cancer growth.
To avoid this constant spike in blood sugar, make sure that you eat foods low in carbs, but good in protein and good quality fats like oily fish, organic lean meat and eggs. At the same time a good amount of veggies like cruciferous vegetables, greens etc. for fiber!
4. Alcohol- When we drink alcohol, our body breaks down processes it and produces a carcinogen called acetaldehyde which is believed to cause damage to our DNA and prevent our body from repairing the damage. It also has the tendency to generate reactive oxygen species which can cause inflammation in our body. Alcohol can also worsen the side effects of cancer treatment and can interact with medications.
Tags: inflammation, Processed meat/ grilled foods/baked meat/ deep fried foods, smoking or salting, curing or adding chemical preservatives, deli meats, bacon and hot dogs, Nitrates and nitrites , Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic, high temperatures, High salt intake, risk factor for gastric cancer, Helicobacter (H.) pylori infection, atrophic gastritis, Sugary foods, unnecessary weight gain, excessive fat percentage, high in glycemic index, insulin-like growth factor (IGF), Alcohol, acetaldehyde, reactive oxygen species, inflammation, cancer