Can Certain Foods Really Cause Cancer?

As is true for many diseases and conditions, you can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you eat well, manage your weight and exercise regularly, you improve your overall health and longevity. Part of eating well means seeking out lean meats, whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. This means avoiding packaged snacks, processed foods and red meats.

There are many inexpensive, whole food options that are healthy for you — if you know where to look. Most grocery stores are organized in a similar way: fresh, perishable foods around the edges of the store and processed foods and snacks in the aisles. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, you’ll want to fill your cart with fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean meats before heading inward toward the aisles.

Cancer-causing foods

Below is a list of some everyday foods and snacks that may contain carcinogens, or be suspected of causing cancer.

  • Canned tomatoes – While tomatoes are known for their cancer-fighting properties, canned tomatoes often contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, which is a known cancer-causing chemical. The lining of almost all canned foods is made with BPA. Tomatoes are particularly dangerous due to their high acidity, which causes BPA to leech from the lining of the can into the tomatoes.
  • Soft drinks – Soft drinks are often loaded with sugar, artificial colorings and food chemicals known to cause cancer, like derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI).
  • Microwave popcorn – Microwave popcorn bags are lined with a man-made chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA has been linked to infertility in women and an increased risk of kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas and testicular cancers.
  • Potato chips – Potato chips are not only high in fat and calories; they are full of artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. When they are fried and crisped at high temperatures, a derivative chemical called acrylamide is formed. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen that is also found in cigarettes.
  • Refined sugars – Cancer feeds on sugar to help it increase in size. Cancer cells seem to prefer feeding on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because it can be metabolized by the cancer cells quickly and easily.

Your overall health and wellness is our priority. For more information on healthy eating to reduce your cancer risk or to schedule an appointment, call 210-745-6841 or use our easy online form.