- World Cancer Day: Quit alcohol to reduce your cancer risk
- Processed food and junk food can be linked to increased risk of cancer
- Microwave popcorn have been found to increase cancer risk
World Cancer Day is observed on February 4. Every year, the Union for International Cancer Control organises Cancer Day to raise awareness about cancer, tips for prevention and how to ease suffering for cancer patients. The theme for World Cancer 2020 is "I am and I will". World Cancer Day 2020 theme acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to act in the face of cancer. Cancer is referred to uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body's normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells are unable to diet and they instead grow out of control, forming new and abnormal cells.
World Cancer Day: Foods and drinks that can cause cancer
A poor lifestyle with lack of exercise, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle is one of the many reasons why more and more people are getting cancer, believes lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho. Following is a list of cancer-causing foods and drinks that you must avoid:
Research has found that the more alcohol you drink, the higher is your risk of developing cancer. Excessive alcohol intake puts you at risk of liver, breast, oesophageal and colorectal cancer. When the body metabolises alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, which is a chemical compound that may damage DNA, leading to cancer. This World Cancer Day, pledge to limit your alcohol intake and try to get off it in full entirety. Note that no amount of alcohol (not even two drinks in a day) is healthy for your body.
2. Processed food
Processed food is one of the unhealthiest foods you can include in your diet. Processed and packaged food are devoid of any nutrition. They contain high amounts of unhealthy carbs, leading to weight gain and obesity-which is a known risk factor for cancer. Processed meat like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni and salami are even more harmful. They are made with chemical preservatives, salting and smoking to increase their shelf life. Studies have found that processed meat can increase risk of colorectal cancer. Celeb nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says that you should avoid everything that comes in a packet, and this includes everything from soya and kale chips to tomato ketchup, condiments and dips, etc.
Switch to fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade spices and food instead of processed food to reduce your risk of cancer.
3. Diet soda and aerated drinks
Sugary drinks like diet soda and aerated drinks are the ones that cause weight gain and provide you with zero nutrition. These drinks contain artificial sweeteners that have been found to increase risk of cancer. Instead of aerated drinks, have lemon water, coconut water, sugarcane juice or unsweetened fresh fruit juice to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
4. Microwave popcorn
No matter how quick and convenient microwave popcorn are, they are doing more harm to your health than you can imagine. Microwave popcorn bag linings contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which can be carcinogenic. The better alternative is to get fresh corn and prepare popcorn at home. It might take a few extra minutes but can reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Smoking is a lifestyle habit and is cancerous, as you all know. The top most cause of lung cancer in the world is smoking. Apart from cancer, smoking can cause coughing, breathing problems, asthma and a lot of other ailments that can affect your day-to-day functioning and reduce your lifespan. Take professional help if you are unable to quit smoking. Start with reducing one cigarette at a time. There is no tomorrow for quitting smoking.
6. Hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated oil are commonly used for preserving processed foods and increasing their shelf life. Hydrogenated oils have the capability to alter structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, increasing your risk of cancer. Avoid foods with trans fats and saturated fats in order to reduce your cancer risk.
Along with avoiding these foods and drinks, you also need to be physically active and exercise regularly. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and weight gain. This World Cancer Day, make more and more people aware of these cancerous foods, drinks and lifestyle habits and do your part in making the world cancer-free.
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative Medicine)
(Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist based in Mumbai)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.