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You’ve probably heard that old adage that “if you have your health, you have everything.” This ancient piece of wisdom isn’t that far off, if you think about it. You could have money in the bank, a great place to live, even tons of friends and family, but if you were seriously ill, had a stroke, or developed cancer, how could you enjoy any of those things?
This is why it’s good to note that, unless you are on the verge of starvation, it would be better to avoid over-consumption of certain foods that, while inexpensive and plentiful, might cause you serious health problems.
Whether you want to call them pop, soft drinks, or sodas, there is no denying that these items are popular (especially with children) and are inexpensive. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of evidence which shows that consuming even one a day can lead to a much higher risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
2. Processed meats
The lists of processed meats is a long one, but think along the lines of bacon, bologna, sausage and hot dogs. These foods contain tars from the smoking process, excessive amounts of salt and not so healthy preservatives. The World Health Organization says flat-out that processed meats can lead to cancer. Avoiding these types of meats is an idea whose time has come.
3. Potato chips and snack foods
Yes, I have to agree: Sometimes it feels like a bag of chips can solve just about any problem, but I’ve quit eating these myself after discovering that just one ounce of chips each day can not only lead to two pounds of unwanted fat every year, but that these snack foods are fried in super high temps to keep them crispy, which leads them to absorb a known carcinogen called acrylamide. Acrylamide is also found in cigarettes, friends, so think twice before you stock up on those salty treats!
4. Vegetable oils
It’s hard to pass up those BOGOF offers on canola oil or corn oil, but there are more and more studies being released showing that these processed oils can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
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Use butter or extra virgin olive oil. Yes, it’s more expensive, but surely your brain is worth the extra money.
5. Highly salted or smoked foods
Smoked and salty foods include tasty items like nuts, pretzels, snack crackers, salami and picked pig’s feet. All of these items contain numerous items that can cause cancer, including the smoke or smoke flavoring, preservatives, and high levels of salt, all of which have been linked to higher rates of cancer. Japan has a very high rate of stomach cancer due to the country’s love of salty foods.
6. Excessive alcohol consumption
This one might really hurt, but it’s a fact. Alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer (second only to tobacco use). This isn’t to say that one drink a day will hurt you; in fact, studies show that a five-ounce glass of wine each day or one ounce of whiskey actually has health benefits. We are talking about excessive consumption of alcohol, which is anything more than what is listed above.
7. Red meat
Think twice before you decide to stock up that freezer with T-bone steaks. Studies have found that consuming more than 500 grams (about one pound) each week can lead to a 30 percent increase in the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The good news here is that you can still enjoy hamburger night — just limit your red meat consumption to less than one pound a week.
8. Char-grilled meats and vegetables
Although those slightly blackened-on-the-grill pieces of chicken or corn on the cob sound so super delish, they unfortunately form substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH for short. PAHs are known carcinogens and are listed in the American Cancer Society’s page as “Reasonably Anticipated Human Carcinogens.” Enjoy your grill; just don’t overcook the food.
9. Excessive sugar consumption
While sugar in all its forms, including honey, refined white sugar, or agave nectar, does not cause cancer in and of itself, excessive consumption usually leads to weight gain and obesity, and all the health problems that come with it. Contrary to those click-bait articles you might have read, sugar does not “feed” cancer cells, nor does it stimulate cancer cells to begin growing. Enjoy sugar in moderation and watch your weight to avoid health problems.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below: