Not only a bad grilling food concept will cause cancer. Read on to know some of the common cancer causing foods in our everyday diet.
- Barbequed or charred foods
Grilling foods in a tandoor or barbeque increases the risk of cancer found according to a study published in Harvard Health Letter. The smoke contains cancer causing compounds – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons like benzopyrene that can lead to cancer.
Diet Advice: Avoid barbequing over charcoal. Remove the burnt or charred portion before eating the food. Broil instead grilling in a traditional way. Use the healthier home concept recommended at our post “Some tips for a great Grill Food at home”.
Being dense in simple sugars and additives, soda can be a major cancer causing agent. The sugars provide energy for cancer cells growth while the additives can act on the metabolic pathway and deprive the body of crucial vitamins and minerals, which could lead to cancer.
Diet Advice: Water is your best thirst quencher. You could opt for beverages like coconut water, buttermilk, lemon juice (without sugar) etc.
Highly sweetened food increases the amount of mono-saccharine in the blood stream. Mono saccharine is the simplest forms of sugar that get absorbed and produces energy at a rapid rate. This chemical energy generated, feeds the cancer cells, allowing rapid proliferation.
Diet advice: Avoid refined sugars and flour. Try using whole grain products instead that will provide the goodness of fibre and anti-oxidants.
- Processed food
Trans fats are found in most processed food. Oils when heated with hydrogen as a catalyst, lose their essential fatty acids and get replaced with Trans fats. These fats are dangerous as they block the brain cell functions, hormones, gland functions, oxygen transport, cell wall function and digestion thus increasing the risk of cancer. Most processed food are high in sugar and refined flour content that add to the brunt of carcinogenesis.
Diet Advice: Reduce the use of processed foods. Use whole fruits, grains etc that are organic.
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of colorectal, prostate and liver cancer. Nitrosamines found predominantly in beer are extremely carcinogenic. Certain tannins found in red wine are also associated with an increased risk of cancer. Alcohol also disrupts the liver, which is one the key organs involved in the detox process. Detoxification helps eliminate various toxins, which can prevent cancer.
Diet Advice: According to the American Cancer society limit your alcohol intake to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
- Certain fish
Small farmed fish contain high levels of poly chlorinated biphenyls. These can cause cancer and harm the immune system, reproductive, nervous system and endocrine system.
Diet advice: Reduce intake of farmed fish as the toxic content is higher as compared to wild fish.
- Artificial colours
Many artificial colours are derived from coal tar, which is a powerful carcinogen. Some of the worst offenders include Green #3, Blue #1, Blue #2 and Yellow #6. Red # 3. They are not permitted in cosmetics but is permitted in food. It causes neural damage and is dangerous for kids. Citrus red #2 used to colour orange skins is a known carcinogen.
Diet Advice: Be very careful while using processed food that is artificially coloured. Preferably use organic fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticides and additives.
- Processed and fat red meats
Red meats are high in fat and increase the excretion of intestinal bile acids, which act as tumour promoters. Some processed meats contain nitrosamines, which can be carcinogenic to the colon. The nitrites and nitrates added to meat and meat products to enhance colour are also dangerous carcinogens.
Diet advice: Avoid pickled, fried, or smoked; in things such as beer, cheese, fish by products, and tobacco smoke.
- Deep fried oily food
In industrial deep frying, oil is constantly re-heated and re-used. When starchy food is subjected to high heat, they lead to formation of substances called acrylamides, which are highly carcinogenic.
Diet Advice: Avoid deep fried oily or spicy snacks and opt for baked alternatives.