Beware, These 5 Foods Can Increase Cancer Risk

CANTIKA.COM, Jakarta – Cancer is a complex disease and has a major impact on health. Several studies have found that there are various factors that can contribute to the development of cancer, such as genetic makeup and family history.

However, external factors have a greater role in the incidence of cancer. In fact, studies show that 80 to 90 percent of malignant tumors are caused by external factors, such as lifestyle.

Therefore, it is important to adopt a healthy diet. This is because a large number of studies have shown that certain foods can increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Health expert Kim Rose-Francis describes six intakes that can increase the risk of cancer along with scientific evidence, as reported by Healthlineon Sunday, June 19, 2022.

5 Foods That Can Increase Cancer Risk

Some foods contain carcinogens, which are harmful substances that have the potential to cause cancer. However, it should be noted that exposure to carcinogens does not always cause cancer. It depends on genetics, as well as the level and duration of exposure to the carcinogen.

1. Processed meat

Processed meat is any type of meat that is preserved by smoking, salting, preserving, or canning. Most processed meat is red meat. Some examples of processed red meat include hot dogs, salami, sausage, ham, corned beef, and beef jerky.

The methods used to make processed meats can create carcinogens. According to a 2018 study, preserving meat with nitrite can form carcinogens called N-nitroso compounds. Smoked meat can also cause carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The researchers determined that high consumption of processed meat was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Meanwhile, a 2019 study also found that processed meat was a major risk factor for colorectal cancer.

Meanwhile, other studies have found that it is also linked to stomach cancer.

2. Fried food

When starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures, a compound called acrylamide is formed. This can happen during frying, baking, and grilling. Fried starchy foods are very high in acrylamide. This includes products, such as French fries and potato chips.

According to a 2018 review, acrylamide was found to be carcinogenic in trials conducted on mice. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers it carcinogenic as well as in humans.

A 2020 study revealed that acrylamide damages deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and induces apoptosis, or cell death. Eating a lot of fried foods also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity. This condition can increase oxidative stress and inflammation, which will further increase the risk of cancer.

3. Food that is overcooked

Overcooked food, especially meat, can produce carcinogens. According to a 2020 study, cooking meat at high temperatures can create carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). This substance can increase the risk of cancer by changing the DNA of your cells.

This has also been confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the truth.

To reduce the risk of carcinogens from cooking at high temperatures, try using healthier cooking methods, such as poachingsteaming, grilling at a lower temperature, and cooking slowly in a crock pot or slow cooker.

Cheese illustration. Shutterstock

4. Milk

There is some evidence that dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt may increase the risk of prostate cancer. A 2014 study proved that dairy products increase levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). It is associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. IGF-1 can increase the proliferation, or production, of prostate cancer cells.

5. High in sugar and refined carbohydrates

Sugary foods and refined carbohydrates can indirectly increase the risk of cancer. Some examples of these foods, namely sugary drinks, baked goods, white pasta, white bread, white rice, and sweet cereals. Consumption of sugary and starchy foods in high concentrations can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity.

According to another 2020 study, both conditions increase inflammation and oxidative stress. This can increase the risk for certain types of cancer.

According to a 2019 review, type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of ovarian, breast, and endometrial (uterine) cancers. A high intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates can also lead to high blood glucose levels, which, according to a 2017 study, may be a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

To limit the health effects of refined carbohydrates, try swapping out for healthier alternatives, such as whole-grain breads, whole-grain pastas, brown rice, and oats.

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