Avoiding Carcinogens in Food

Carcinogens are cancer-causing substances that you should learn to avoid. Carcinogens may help contribute to the rapid development of cancers. It is good to try to avoid them as often as possible, especially in the food that we eat.

But sadly, carcinogens can be found almost everywhere. You can thank progress for that. Human progress also comes with a price. And one of them is the proliferation of more and more carcinogens in the food produced and manufactured for daily consumption. Knowledge about these substances and chemicals and in what food products they can be found can help you how to better avoid them. And better avoidance can lead to less cancer risk for most people.

Sugar is linked to cancer risks?

One of the most common of foodstuffs in today’s world is a known contributor to the development of cancer. Most scientists have known this fact for ages. But with the importance of sugar in almost all areas of commercial food production, it seems impossible to get rid of it completely.

Sugar has been linked to cancer due to its work as an energy supplier to the body. Studies have shown that cancer cells require glucose in order to grow. In fact, cancer cells require as much as five times more glucose to grow than normal and healthy cells. Without sugar, cancer cells have a hard time to multiply rapidly. By limiting sugar intake, it can be said that people may be able to keep cancer development at bay. A limited sugar supply can also limit the development of cancer in humans.

Food Additives

Another group of substances that people should avoid are food additives. Food additives comprises of a wide range of substances that are added to food products to enhance, improve or preserve them. Most of these substances are considered carcinogenic. Here is a list of some of them.

Acesulfame K- known popularly as Sweet One, it is a sugar substitute commonly used as an additive to certain beverages such as instant coffee, non-dairy creamers, gelatin, and also in chewing gum. Laboratory tests have shown that Acesulfame K causes cancer in animals. Scientists assume that this substance can also cause such cancers to develop in humans.

BHA and BHT– these chemicals are used as additives to oil-based food products to prevent oxidation and rancidity. BHA and BHT are considered by the IARC or International Agency for Research on Cancer to be possibly a carcinogen to humans.

Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate- these closely related chemicals are commonly used additives to preserve meat. Although nitrate in itself is harmless, it can readily by converted into nitrite. And when nitrite combines with secondary amines, the result is the formation of nitrosamines, very powerful cancer-causing agents. The reaction usually occurs at high temperatures that can happen when frying.

Potassium Bromate- this chemical is usually used as an additive to increase the volume of bread. But the problem is that bromates are known to cause cancer in animals. Although bromate can rapidly break down into harmless bromide, traces of bromates that remain in food products may still be a cancer risk.