6 Cancer-Causing Foods You Should Avoid To Stay Healthy

11cancer causing foods to avoid
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Cancer is dangerous but it can be prevented too. About 30 to 40% of any cancer can be turned aside with dietary measures and lifestyle changes alone. If a diet is planned as per the guidelines, at least 60 to 70% of cancers such as prostate, breast, and colorectal can be prevented.

cancer prevention with dietary measures and lifestyle changes

If you overconsume energy, it can be risky as well. About 20% and 14% of all cancer deaths in men and women were due to obesity and being overweight. Therefore, it is advantageous to be slightly less and prevent cancer.

Let’s find out what foods to avoid for cancer prevention.

6 Worst Foods for Cancer

Food is the means of prevention but certain foods can be risky and trigger the progression of the carcinogenesis process. Here are a few of those you must avoid. 

1. Red meat 

  • Any muscle meat of a mammal, such as pork, beef, mutton, lamb, etc., is classified as red meat. Eating red meat is associated with a higher risk of breast, colorectal, colon, and rectal cancer.
  • The carcinogenic byproducts when the meat is cooked – iron, fat, animal sugar molecules, and hormone residues can form tumors.

2. Fried foods

  • The fried foods contain acrylamide, which has carcinogenic properties. The formation of that was seen when food was cooked at high temperatures.
  • The high-temperature process means baking, roasting, toasting, and frying. The acrylamide formation takes place in carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes.
  • A MDPI study showed that it can cause cell death and damage the DNA, which can increase the risk of cancer.

3. Alcohol

  • Alcohol, otherwise called ethanol, is found in an alcoholic beverage substance. It has been studied that a person who drinks more alcohol regularly over time has a high risk of getting alcohol-related cancer.
  • When ethanol is metabolized to break down a toxic chemical such as acetaldehyde, it damages the DNA and proteins.

4. Processed meats

  • Anything added to keep it in good shape or flavor is an additive that preserves it for longer. They are called processed meats: hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and chicken. 
  • Nitrates are used to preserve these foods. NOCs are compounds formed when nitrates react with amides and amines. They have the potential to increase the risk of cancer in humans, such as stomach and colorectal. 
  • Instead of going for processed meats, choose natural meat to prepare food.

5. Processed Foods with High Sugar and Salt

  • As much as you love sugar, cancer cells love sugar the most too. They thrive on it to grow and divide.
  • They are indirect means to cancer, as the intake of sugar and sodium can cause obesity and, in turn, increase the chances of cancer. 
  • They are only high in calories but contain no nutritional value and should not be excessively consumed. Foods high in sugar and salt can spike the blood sugar level quickly and make you feel hungry and low on energy. It causes you to overeat and eventually get obese. 
  • It has impacted the risk of breast and colorectal cancer, according to a review.

6. Diet Soda

  • Though it has fewer calories, diet soda has the potential to trigger you to have a higher number of calories from food intake compared to regular soda. 
  • On the other end, the substitutes of sugar used in it, such as saccharin and sucralose, can disrupt the body’s metabolism rate, which instead of burning fat can increase the storage of fat. 
  • This will lead to obesity and indirectly increase the risk of cancer. The sugar substitutes in sodas were found to have a slightly higher chance of developing cancer compared to those who don’t. This is one of the cancer causing foods to avoid.

Now that you are aware of cancer-causing foods, it’s ideal to reduce or avoid the consumption of such foods. 

Certain other foods can prevent cancer when eaten. The presence of specific bioactive substances in certain foods is seen to lower the cancer risk. Find out about cancer prevention foods to learn more.


Avoiding cancer causing foods is the healthiest move that you can take, as it’s your health that is at stake. Food plays an important role in our health but only when eaten right and under control. Eating too much good food can also be harmful.

If you aren’t able to come down to picking the right food in your diet, especially for cancer prevention, Fitness with Nidhi can help you come up with a healthy national diet for you.

We suggest a diet that keeps your conditions, and culinary traditions in mind so that you can restore your health quickly and stay fit. Contact us to find the right diet for you.

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About the author

Nidhi Gupta is an ACE certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 10 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. Get in touch with her to learn more about how she can help you on your fitness journey.
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