Cancer is a very complex disease. There are many different types of cancer, as well as many possible causes. Although not all factors about cancer are known, many factors that may contribute to the development of cancer are well documented.
The main factors that play a role are genetic makeup and family history. However, external factors that the person may be able to control, such as lifestyle habits, also have an influence.
One of the most important aspects to consider for a healthy life is one’s diet. This is because certain foods are associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases.
Which foods can increase the risk of cancer?
Certain foods may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which are linked to some types of cancer. Other foods contain carcinogens, which are dangerous substances that can cause cancer.
However, it is noteworthy that exposure to carcinogens does not always cause cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the person’s genetics as well as the degree and duration of exposure to the carcinogen.
Foods that may increase the risk of several types of cancer include:
1. Processed meat
Any type of meat that is preserved by smoking, salting, brining or canning is processed meat. Most of the meats are red meat. Some examples of processed red meat include:
- Beef jerky
- corned beef
Carcinogens can be created by the methods used to make processed meats. Brining meat with nitrite can create carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds. Smoking meat can result in carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Processed meat is a major risk factor for colon cancer and has also been found to be associated with stomach cancer. High consumption of processed meat is also linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
2. Fried foods
When starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, a compound called acrylamide is produced. The compound can also be formed during frying, baking, roasting and roasting.
Fried starchy foods, including fried potato products, such as French fries and potato chips, contain very high levels of acrylamide. Acrylamide damages DNA and causes apoptosis or cell death.
Eating too much fried food increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Oxidative stress and inflammation can also be promoted by these conditions, further increasing the risk of cancer.
3. Overcooked foods
Carcinogens can be produced by overcooking foods, especially meats. Cooking meat over high heat creates cancer-causing PAHs and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that can increase cancer risk by altering the DNA of the person’s cells. It includes cooking methods such as:
Acrylamide formation is increased by overcooking starchy foods, such as potatoes. To reduce the risk of carcinogens from high-heat cooking, people should try cooking methods that are healthy, such as:
- cooking under pressure
- Roast or bake at a low temperature
- Slow cooking in a crock pot or slow cooker
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Consuming dairy products increases levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer because IGF-1 may increase the proliferation or production of prostate cancer cells.
5. Sugar and refined carbohydrates
Cancer risk may be indirectly increased by sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. Some examples of these foods are:
- Sugary sweetened drinks
- Baked goods
- White pasta, bread and rice
- Sugary grains
Eating foods high in sugar and starch can put the person at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity. Inflammation and oxidative stress are promoted by both conditions. This may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
The risk of ovarian, breast, and endometrial (uterine) cancer is increased by type 2 diabetes. Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can also lead to high blood glucose levels, which can be a risk factor for colon cancer.
To reduce the health effects of refined carbs, try replacing these foods with healthier choices, such as:
- Whole grain bread
- Whole-weat pasta
- Brown rice
When alcohol is consumed by the person, their liver breaks down alcohol into a carcinogen called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde promotes DNA damage and oxidative stress and also interferes with immune system function, making it difficult for the body to target pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.
Alcohol increases estrogen levels in women’s bodies. This is associated with an increased risk of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.
Processed meats, overcooked foods, and fried foods can increase your risk of certain types of cancer, as these foods may contain carcinogens or carcinogens.
Alcohol produces carcinogens when digested by the body. Dairy, sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
To reduce the risk of cancer, people should try to reduce the consumption of these foods and focus on a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating more foods that have a reduced risk of causing cancer, exercising regularly, and finding ways to reduce stress.