We all know someone who has cancer. And maybe even someone that has died from cancer.
If it seems like cancer is everywhere that’s because it is. Roughly 15 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year.
While cancer treatment has improved tremendously in the last decade, still there is no absolute cure. You probably already knew that.
But did you know one third of cancer could be avoided by changing lifestyle and diet habits?
That’s right. What I just said is cancer is preventable in many cases. Really and truly.
Because I would prefer to prevent cancer, I’ve done the research and incorporated the evidence into my life. And today I’m starting a cancer prevention series just for you. Over the next few weeks I will lay out the evidence and offer simple and sustainable ways for you to make lifestyle changes to prevent cancer.
I’m always shocked when people I work with don’t realize that some cancers can be prevented. Knowledge is power and cancer prevention is one of my passions. If you have a friend, family member, or other loved one that you want to help, please refer them here.
Each week, I will offer you one or two action-oriented methods to prevent cancer and the evidence to back it up. In return, you will use the next week to take action and make changes.
Without further adieu, let’s dive in and get started!
How to Get Cancer: Eat Ultra-Processed Food
It should come as no surprise that processed foods are bad news. We know they are linked to obesity, increase blood pressure, and heart failure exacerbations.
Now we know consumption of processed foods increases the risk of cancer.
A little over a month ago, a study was published that assessed the association between ultra-processed food and cancer. This study include over 100,000 participants that were followed for six years. The results were startling.
A 10% increase in ultra-processed food intake was associated wth greater than 10% increase risk in overall cancer and breast cancer.
Why? First of all, processed foods are high in total fat, saturated fat, added sugar and salt. Secondly, processed foods contain contaminants that are carcinogenic (such as acrylamide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Third, processed foods often are packaged in materials that are carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting (such as bisphenol A). Lastly, processed foods often contain nitrites, which are hypothesized to be carcinogens.
Which foods were considered to be ultra-processed this the study?
- Mass produced packaged breads and buns
- Sweet and savory packaged sweets
- Mass produced confectionery and desserts
- Sodas and sweetened beverages
- Meat products with preservatives other than salt (such as meatballs, chicken nuggets, and fish sticks)
- Instant noodles and soups
- Frozen or shelf stable meals
- Food products made mostly from sugar, oils, fats, and processed oils
Action of the Week: Ditch Ultra-Processed Foods. Immediately, If Not Sooner.
What does this study mean for you? It means that if you want to decrease your risk of cancer (overall and breast), you must decrease your consumption of ultra-processed foods.
So take an inventory. Do you eat any of the ultra-processed foods mentioned above? If so, say sayonara to them. Instead, replace the ultra-processed foods with organic vegetables and fruit. Drink water, sparkling water, or tea instead of sodas and sweetened beverages.
Give it a try this week! And stay tuned for more on the cancer prevention series!
In health and happiness,