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- Some cancers are genetic, but many are connected to certain lifestyle choices, like smoking and diet.
- One of the simplest ways to reduce your cancer risk is to cut down on certain foods, especially processed meat and packaged convenience foods.
- Here are seven items to avoid.
Some cancers are unavoidable. Cancer can be determined by our genes, and some cases are prompted by environmental factors we have little control over, like air pollution, radiation, or workplace chemicals.
But nearly half of US cancer cases and deaths are linked to preventable risk factors, and scientific research has revealed that it’s possible to lower your chances of getting sick. The biggest cancer-causing culprit is smoking. Being overweight and not getting enough exercise are also major contributors.
One of the simplest, quickest ways to reduce your cancer risk, however, is to cut down on certain foods that we know are linked to more cancer cases.
Here are seven of the riskiest foods:
Eating more processed food can up your cancer risk.
Scientists in France recently zeroed in on a troubling link: people who eat more ultra-processed foods, including items like chips, candy, soda, frozen dinners and instant ramen, develop more cancer than those who cook with raw ingredients at home. So food that comes pre-packaged in plastic wrap or on a microwaveable tray should be eaten only sparingly.
Red meat has a protein that can damage our intestines, making it easier to get colon cancer.
Processed meats like sausage, bacon, and hot dogs can up a person’s cancer risk, especially if they’re eaten on a regular basis.
Eating large quantities of meat that has been salted, cured, or smoked, — like ham, sausage, bacon, and hot dogs — can cause stomach and bowel cancers. That is largely because processed meats are treated with nitrates: chemical additions that help keep the color of the meat pink and the flavor tasty and salty. The same can even be true of so-called "nitrate free" varieties of processed meat.
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