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Foods to Avoid in Your Anti-Cancer Diet

Foods to Avoid in Your Anti-Cancer Diet

Diet plays an important role in cancer treatment. A nutritious and especially, balanced diet can help a cancer patient maintain health and faster recovery.

While they should eat fresh, home-cooked meals with suggested protein and herbs, they should also avoid certain foods to get maximum benefits from the care they are receiving.

Foods to Avoid in Your Anti-Cancer Diet

Also Read: Anti-Cancer Diet

Here is a list of items which one must avoid:

1. Canned food

Food cans are typically lined with bisphenol-a (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to cancer and also other serious health problems. Especially anything acidic is more likely to leech problematic levels of BPA from the can into the food. Stick to fresh food to avoid contamination.

2. Refined sugar

Research conducted way back in 1931 found sugar provides fuel for tumours, allowing them to grow in size. In addition to wreaking havoc on your metabolism, processed sugars may be more readily accessible to cancer cells. You can consider replacing it with natural sugar substitutes.

3. Alcohol

Although moderate consumption can lower your risk of heart disease, alcohol abuse is the leading cause of cancer behind tobacco use. A meta-analysis of drinking and cancer risk found an association between heavy drinking and an increased risk of mouth, colon, liver, and other cancers.

4. French fries and potato chips

Acrylamide, a chemical used in certain industrial processes that is also found in cigarette smoke, can form in starchy foods like potatoes when they're cooked at high temperatures. While we need more research, the American Cancer Society supports a continuous evaluation of acrylamide and its effects.

5. Processed meat

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified processed meat as a carcinogen after experts from 10 countries looking at more than 800 studies found eating 50 grams of four strips of bacon or one hot dog every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.

6. Artificial colours

A 2010 report by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest called Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks concluded the nine FDA-approved artificial dyes approved in the United States may be carcinogenic, cause behavioural problems, and/or are inadequately tested.

7. Microwave popcorn

Some microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical that decomposes to produce perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA has been linked to an increased risk of liver, prostate, and other cancers. Another chemical used in artificial butter flavour, diacetyl, may cause lung damage. It's easy to make your microwave popcorn with a brown paper bag and some coconut oil.

Nutritious Diet for Cancer Patients

Also Read: Anti-Cancer Foods

8. Hydrogenated oils

In addition to being bad for your heart, hydrogenated oils can cause inflammation and cell damage that has been linked to cancer and other diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned partially hydrogenated oils in January 2015, giving food manufacturers three years to remove them from their products.

9. Charred meats

The high temperatures used to heavily grill meat can produce carcinogens called heterocyclic aromatic amines and also polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons if you like your steak well done.

10. Farmed salmon

Carcinogens are more likely to contaminate salmon raised on farms. According to the Environmental Working Group, farmed salmon have 16 times the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in wild salmon.

11. Soda

A Swedish study found men who drank one 11-oz. soda a day were 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer. An analysis by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and US Consumer Reports found an association between 4-methylimidazole, the chemical that gives some soda its caramel colour, and also increased cancer risk.

12. Red meat

The World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans based on evidence showing a link between its consumption and the development of colorectal cancer in particular.

13. Pasta

Pasta, bagels, and other white carbohydrates have a high glycemic index (GI), meaning they more rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, people whose diets had a high GI especially had a 49 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer. Adding healthy fats (like olive oil) and protein to pasta helps lower the overall glycemic index of the meal it is a part of. Some pasta, like Braille ProteinPlus, has a lower glycemic index.

14. Milk

A 2004 meta-analysis found a positive association between milk consumption and prostate cancer. Some experts believe that animal fat in dairy products may increase cancer risk.

15. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Studies indicate an association between GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them and the development of tumours.

Can Alkaline Diet Help In Cancer Treatment?

Some tips to follow with proper diet

Drink plenty of fluids (preferably water) throughout treatment

Chemotherapy and other medications given during treatment can be hard on the kidneys and liver. It is important to drink plenty of fluids with a preference for water during treatment.

Especially be as active as possible.

Physical activity helps your body use the sugar in your blood more efficiently. Check your blood sugar before exercising. Your healthcare team can give you guidance on the type and amount of exercise that is safe for you.

Other foods like too much frozen or junk can hamper your treatments while taking a proper, healthy diet will help you improve the results of your treatment.

Foods to Avoid in Your Anti-Cancer Diet

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  1. Donaldson MS. Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet. Nutr J. 2004 Oct 20;3:19. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-19. PMID: 15496224; PMCID: PMC526387.

  2. Key TJ, Bradbury KE, Perez-Cornago A, Sinha R, Tsilidis KK, Tsugane S. Diet, nutrition, and cancer risk: what do we know and what is the way forward? BMJ. 2020 Mar 5;368:m511. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m511. Erratum in: BMJ. 2020 Mar 11;368:m996. PMID: 32139373; PMCID: PMC7190379.

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