Cancer is a huge problem worldwide. It's one of the leading causes of death in America. In 2018 alone, over 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer. Thirty-five percent of all people who are diagnosed with cancer will end up dying from the disease. While we have come a long way, we haven't quite conquered cancer yet.
There are some steps you can take in your personal life to reduce the risk of developing cancer. A lot of cancers develop due to genetic factors, but environmental factors, including diet, can play a role as well. These scientifically-backed foods all fight and prevent cancer in different ways.
Blueberries Are Full Of Antioxidants
Blueberries are sometimes called a superfood, and they got that name for a reason. Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits. In a study published in Pathology & Oncology Research, blueberry extract improved radiation therapy. The researchers explain that blueberry extract reduces cancer cell growth. By itself, blueberries killed 25% of cancer cells before they developed into tumors.
Blueberries' flavonoids are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial. All of these help your body defend itself against cancer.
A Little Bit Of Cinnamon Goes A Long Way
According to a 2010 study in BMC Cancer, cinnamon can prevent cancer from spreading. Further research in Molecular Carcinogenesis suggests that cinnamon extract can lower the number of breast and ovarian cancer cells.
Cinnamon contains procyanidins and cinnamaldehyde, ingredients that have acted as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and antibacterials in several studies. Cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory agent. Try adding a teaspoon of the spice to your tea or coffee in the morning for an extra health and flavor boost.
Turmeric Is A Cure-All
Turmeric has been used as a healing agent in ancient, naturopathic medicine. Recently, science has been able to back up some of the claims ancient healers have always made about this bright yellow spice. Studies have shown that turmeric's key ingredient, curcumin, kills tumor cells in laboratory studies. According to the National Cancer Institute, two studies have shown turmeric stopping cancer cells before they grow.
We're not ready to start prescribing turmeric as a cancer treatment, but adding some more of this stuff to your diet can't hurt.
Eat More Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are full of fiber which can really help your body fight against colon and colorectal cancers. Also, in a 2005 study, breast cancer patients who ate a flaxseed muffin every day experienced less cell growth.
The American Association for Cancer Research published a study treating 161 prostate cancer patients with flaxseed. In this study, the flaxseed stopped cancerous cell growth and stopped cancer from spreading. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flaxseeds over your cereal in the morning for some extra fiber.
Raspberries Contain Ellagic Acid
Raspberries, like blueberries, also work to fight against cancer. These delicious red berries contain high levels of ellagic acid, which is a phytochemical that helps your body eliminate carcinogens. Strawberries are also rich in ellagic acid.
In an animal study reported in Cancer Research, freeze-dried black raspberries reduced esophageal tumors by 62%. They also lowered the overall number of tumors by 62%. If that doesn't convince you to eat more raspberries, I don't know what will.
Go Nutty For Nutrients
People who eat nuts on a regular basis may be less likely to develop certain kinds of cancer. A study conducted in 2014 found that mice who ate walnuts had 80% less cancer cell growth and 60% fewer tumors. Another study followed men with prostate cancer. People who ate nuts five times a week had less chance of dying from the disease.
Nuts contain minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium, all of which keep your body in good working order.
Cabbage Could Keep You Cancer-Free
Cabbage is full of nutrients that promote cell regrowth. Cell regrowth is essential for fighting cancer. In 2018, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute found that chewing cabbage releases a cancer-fighting chemical.
The chemical, called indole-3-carbinol, regenerates cells and soothes inflammation. Mice who consumed indole-3-carbinol stopped developing tumors. If you want to get this healthy chemical, make sure you don't overcook your cabbage. The stuff is most abundant in raw cabbage.
Broccoli Is A Powerful Vegetable
Broccoli contains a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. In an animal study, sulforaphane was shown to kill 50% of prostate cancer cells in rats. A review of 35 studies in Annals of Oncology concluded that broccoli lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
More tests are needed to confirm the effects of broccoli on human cancer cells, but broccoli has tons of other health benefits, so adding it into your diet isn't a bad idea anyway. Plus it tastes delicious.
Real Red Hot Chili Peppers
Spice lovers, you're in luck. Eating chili peppers may be the key to blocking lung cancer. The compound that makes peppers spicy called capsaicin has been shown to stop the first stage of cancer cell formation. That stage is called metastasis, or "invasion."
Earlier research stated that chili peppers prevent breast cancer triple-negative cells from growing. Another suggested that they could lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Peppers add a lot of flavor to all kinds of dishes and they could add a lot to your overall health, too.
Garlic Can Do Even More For Your Health Than You Thought
The health benefits of garlic have been known to scientists for a while now. What hasn't been as thoroughly studied is the effect of garlic on cancerous cell growth. In 2010, allicin, the active component in garlic, was shown to reduce colon cancer cells.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, allicin isn't the only helpful nutrient in garlic. It also offers flavonoids, inulin, S-allyl cysteine, and saponins. All these compounds have been shown to reduce tumor growth.
How Tea Can Help
While there is no evidence that tea cures cancer, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, tea's antioxidants may stall cancerous growth. In animal studies, tea catechins prohibited cancer cells from invading the body.
The type of tea you drink largely depends on personal preference. Black tea contains more antioxidants than green tea, but fewer catechins. Green tea offers more catechins and less caffeine than black tea. Remember that drinking tea isn't guaranteeing that you won't get cancer, but it will supply you with healthy nutrients.
Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Colon
Beans are a protein-rich food that may prevent cancer growth. Believe it or not, its ability partially comes from its high fiber content. During a 2012 study published in PLoS One, researchers concluded that high fiber intake may stop colorectal cancer. At least two other studies have backed up this claim.
How many beans should you eat? During a study in Nutrition and Cancer, rats who ate black beans a couple of times a week had 75% fewer colon cancer cells. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's Dietary Guidelines for Americans said that people should consume three cups of beans per week.
Rosemary Is A Super Herb
After reading this, you'll want to flavor more food with rosemary. In 2016, a study in Nutrients reported that rosemary stopped cancer cells from growing and spreading. The same results showed up for colon and breast tumors. Nutrients in rosemary protect the body from toxins and inflammation.
Rosemary also defends your body before you eat it. Research in the 2006 Journal of Food Science observed the cooking of ground beef with rosemary. As the meat cooked, rosemary stopped cancer-causing agents from forming. No wonder it's such a popular culinary herb.
Olive Oil Is Full Of Healthy Fats
Despite being high in calories, olive oil contains healthy fats that protect your body. In Lipids in Health and Disease, researchers reviewed 19 studies about olive oil with over 13,800 patients. They concluded that those who consumed more olive oil had a lower chance of developing breast and digestive cancer.
Research in a 2019 issue of PLoS One indicated that certain olive oils work better than others. Extra virgin olive oil zaps cancer cells, while non-extra virgin olive oils have no effect. High-quality olive oils contain oleocanthal, the ingredient responsible for preventing cancerous growth.
Tomatoes Are Red Hot
Tomatoes get their red color from a compound called lycopene. This same compound fights cancer. Better yet, consuming cooked or canned tomatoes does not change this effect. According to a 2013 review of 17 studies, consuming plain lycopene, raw tomatoes, or cooked tomatoes reduces your risk of prostate cancer.
In particular, tomato sauce acts as a cancer-fighting agent. Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a 2002 study observed that eating more tomato sauce helps guard your cells against prostate cancer. Remember that these studies don't account for other factors, such as a healthy diet or exercise.
The Truth About Soy Products
You may have heard the theory that soybeans raise estrogen levels and cause breast cancer. However, the research doesn't support this. The largest study on this topic, the Shanghai Women's Health Study, concluded the opposite. Out of 72,223 women who consumed soy, 22% had a lower risk of breast cancer and 47% had a smaller risk of premenopausal breast cancer.
Soy has also affected prostate cancer during certain studies. According to Harvard Health, an analysis of 30 cohort trials revealed that soy intake lowers a person's risk of prostate cancer. In other words, there's no need to fear soy.
Eat More Legumes
Legumes are seeds or fruit from a legume plant that are high in proteins and fiber. According to a 2009 study, the more legumes you eat, the less risk you have of developing cancer. The study connected legumes with several cancers, including stomach, kidney, and digestive cancers.
The research, published in Cancer Causes & Control, mentioned that several previous studies had confirmed this case. The reason is likely the resistant starch in legumes. When this starch meets gut bacteria, it ferments and produces other compounds. These compounds are thought to fight against cancer.
Eat Fatty Fish Instead Of Red Meat
A few servings of fatty fish per week may benefit you in the long run. A large study by the National Cancer Institute followed 478,040 participants over five years. Those who ate more fish had a smaller risk of colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, those who ate more red meat had a higher risk.
Fish is famous for its omega-3 fatty acids, which stop cancer. In 2013, researchers observed that omega-3s kill tumors before they fully develop. Fatty fish also contain high amounts of vitamin D, which lowers the risk of colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
Plant Sterols Are Good For You
Sterols are substances that naturally appear in certain fruits, vegetables, legumes, and seeds. They have powerful cholesterol-lowering abilities. During a 2013 study in the journal Nutrients, researchers reported that sterols lower LDL cholesterol. This is the "bad" cholesterol that leads to various diseases.
According to the research, plant sterols may prevent the formation of breast and estrogen cancer. Seventh-Day Adventists, who have a lower risk of cancer than most of the population, eat a diet rich in sterols. Foods with high plant sterols include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, vegetable oils, and sunflower seeds.
Have Some More Citrus
Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons may guard you against cancer. According to a review of nine studies in the journal Pancreas, citrus fruits reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. In 2010, another large study suggested that citrus fruit lowers the risk of digestive and upper respiratory cancers.
You don't need a ton of citrus to see the results, either. Eating just three servings of citrus per week lessens your risk of stomach cancer by 28%, according to a 2008 study in Gastric Cancer. Just a few servings of margarine or lemon water will do wonders for your health.
Strawberries Can Do It All
With a survival rate of just 19%, esophageal cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers out there. Fortunately, 2011 research suggests that strawberries could prevent this disease. Scientists from the University of Ohio tested freeze-dried strawberries on 36 people. The fruits slowed down cancer growth in most participants.
Strawberries offer a wide range of cancer-fighting flavonoids. One is the famous ellagic acid that's also found in raspberries. During the study, researchers noted that freeze-dried strawberries supplied more nutrients than fresh strawberries. The participants only ate two ounces a day to receive benefits.
Parsley Contains Flavanoids
Parsley offers unique flavonoids and chemicals that may reduce cancer. One flavonoid, myricetin, has killed colon cancer and skin cancer cells in many studies. With 100 grams of myricetin, parsley has the highest myricetin concentration of any herb.
Another flavonoid, called apigenin, suppressed tumor formation during a study in BMC Cell & Bioscience. This plant nutrient has several functions. It prevents blood vessels from feeding cancer cells and improves chemotherapy. In particular, apigenin guards against mesothelioma cancer that creates tumors in the lungs, heart, and abdomen.
Eat More Melons
In 2009, a Chinese study demonstrated that people who ate watermelon, cantaloupes, and papayas had a lower chance of getting breast cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends watermelon and other melons to combat cancer. What makes them so special? It's a phytochemical called lycopene.
Lycopene is related to beta-carotene, the compound that creates vitamin A. Lycopene is an antioxidant that protects normal cells from cancerous mutation. According to the EXCLI Journal, lycopene is reported to inhibit colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers.
An Apple A Day...
There's a reason why apples are often associated with health. In 2018, a study in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis stated that apples inhibit breast cancer cells. An ingredient called polyphenol phloretin stops the protein that builds cancer cells, while not affecting normal cells.
Apples also provide antioxidants that may prevent tumors from forming. According to WebMD, these antioxidants send signals to healthy cells, telling them not to feed cancer cells. In an experiment with laboratory rats, apple water effectively reduced colon cancer cells.
Carrots Prevent All Kinds Of Cancer
Throughout several studies, carrots have demonstrated cancer-fighting properties. In the Journal of Gastric Cancer, a study showed that carrots lower the risk of gastric cancer by 26%. A year later, another study associated carrots with an 18% lower risk of prostate cancer. Finally, research in the International Journal of Epidemiology reported that eating carrots reduces the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Why are carrots so powerful? According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, it's their phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, which make carrots orange, may destroy cancer cells. They also prevent certain cancers from occurring.
Mushrooms Can Positively Impact Your Immune System
With over 100 species of medicinal mushrooms, you have plenty of cancer-fighting fungi to choose from. According to the National Cancer Institute, mushrooms slightly alter our immune response. In clinical trials, mushrooms stimulate natural killer cells that don't tolerate cancerous growths.
However, this is not sufficient evidence that mushrooms aid people with cancer. Until more research is done, consider mushrooms to be a healthy dish that potentially prevents cancer. So far, reishi mushrooms, shiitake, Chaga, and maitake mushrooms have been analyzed in cancer research.
Onions Can Fight Off Cancer
In 2017, researchers from the University of Guelph noted that onions eliminate cancer cells. More specifically, onions "trick" cancer cells into undergoing cell death. Anthocyanin, the compound that gives onions their color, does this effectively. The redder the onion, the more it'll ward off cancer.
But the best recipe combines onion with garlic. A study in 2019 suggests that allium vegetables--onions, garlic, chives, and shallots--can hinder the development of cancer. Participants who consumed high amounts of allium vegetables were 79% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
Kale's Impeccable Reputation
The body has a natural protein that suppresses tumors. It's called PTEN, and researchers have studied how to create more for a long time. One way to receive PTEN is to eat cruciferous vegetables such as kale. With its high amount of antioxidants, kale stabilizes cell growth to slow tumor growth.
To be clear, Harvard researchers do not suggest that eating kale will stop tumors. You'd have to eat six pounds a day to have the same effect as the cancer-fighting compound I3C. But if you want to potentially prevent cancer, consider eating more kale.
In 2017, a scientific review of pomegranates and cancer was published in the journal Molecules. Pomegranates guard the skin against UVB rays, which prevents skin cancer. They also may stall lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
Pomegranates offer polyphenols that are easily absorbed by the body. Once these nutrients enter the tissues, they stop cancerous growth from spreading. Potentially, pomegranates can slow down the spread of cancers. Researchers note that pomegranate extract, juice, and seeds all produce this effect.
Grapes Can Halt Cancer
In 2005, researchers reported that chemicals in grapes might work to defeat cancer. The team identified ten previously unknown flavonoids in grapes. These chemicals work in tandem to stop cancer cells from growing. In the skin of a grape, there's reservatol, another phytochemical that halts cancerous growth.
Notably, the researchers stated that supplements do not have the same effect. You have to eat grapes whole to get the perks. The American Institute for Cancer Research claims that grapes can battle tumors in the liver, breast, stomach, and lymph nodes.
Too Much Sugar
Because sugar feeds every cell in the body, it's imperative to a healthy diet. This fact led to the assumption that eating less sugar "starves cancer." While that has some truth, sugar alone won't cause cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research asserts that there is "an indirect link" between indulging on candy and getting cancer.
Yet, over-indulging on sugar may result in obesity, which is a cancer risk. The CEO of Cancer Council Australia, Professor Sanchia Aranda, announced that at least 3% of cancers stem from obesity. Too much sugar may increase the risk for ten different cancers, including breast, bowel, and liver cancer.
Scorching Hot Drinks
If you're someone who loves their coffee or tea scorching hot, we have bad news for you. In the International Journal of Cancer, one study tracked over 50,000 tea drinkers for ten years. Those who drank their tea at 140°F (60°C) were 90% more likely to develop esophageal cancer.
In 2018, a Chinese study backed up these findings. However, they noted that the odds were far higher with those who also drank or smoked. In Asia, South America, and Africa, tea is served much hotter than in other countries. If you let your drinks cool or add milk, you're in the clear.
In the late 2010s, article headlines announced that popcorn could cause cancer. While nothing inside popcorn poses a cancer risk, the lining inside the microwavable bag does. Research in 2013 found that these bags contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical that encouraged pancreatic, testicular, and liver cancer in animal studies.
But will eating the popcorn spread PFOA? According to a 2019 study in Environmental Health Perspectives, participants who ate this popcorn had PFOA in their blood. It can remain there for three to five years. To avoid the chemical, cook homemade popcorn.
Vegetable oils--including corn, sunflower, palm, and soybean oils--may not be the healthiest options to cook with. In 2015, researchers found that heating these oils release aldehydes, a chemical linked to many cancers. Moreover, frying foods in these oils resulted in 100 to 200 times the aldehyde amount recommended by the National Health Society.
In 2019, scientists from the University of Massachusetts conducted a similar study with mice. When they fried food in canola oil, they found that it enhanced tumor growth, worsened inflammation, and posed a risk for colon cancer. Choose healthier oils such as coconut and olive oil.
Many health experts have warned against sugary drinks--especially soda--for years. But in July 2019, French researchers reported that drinking four ounces of soda per day raises a person's risk of cancer by 18%. An average can of soda contains 12 ounces.
A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, Colleen Doyle, stated that obesity is a known risk factor for cancer. Drinks with 5% sugar or more are connected to both obesity and cancer. Fortunately, artificially sweetened "zero sugar" sodas do not pose the same threat.
Do eggs increase the risk of ovarian cancer? That's what many headlines asked after a 2015 study in Clinical Nutrition. The reasons for these findings are still widely debated. Research in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention concluded that the results did not have to do with cholesterol--which is what many people assumed.
Plus, the number of eggs eaten for this study was unusually high. According to the Washington Post, most Americans eat less than one egg per day on average. During the 1990s, one study featured a woman who ate 25 eggs every day and had no negative health effects.
In South Korea and Japan, stomach cancer rates are unusually high. Scientists have blamed their diet of fermented foods, including pickles. In 2012, a review of 78 studies found a strong connection between eating pickled foods and stomach cancer. According to the British Journal of Cancer, at least 34 studies have found a link between pickled foods and esophageal cancer.
The high salt and acid content in pickles are to blame. However, the World Health Organization has clarified that some countries pickle vegetables differently. Nonfermented, acidified cucumbers pose a risk; slowly fermented pickles don't.
Banned Artificial Flavors
In 2018, the FDA banned seven artificial flavors. This decision stemmed from a study by the US Department of Health's study on these flavors. Through two animal tests, the researchers determined that these additives could cause cancer in high amounts. Scientists found the flavors in ice cream, candy, carbonated drinks, gum, and baked goods.
Because these flavors have already been banned, there is little need to worry about them nowadays. And despite the FDA's ruling, they agree that most artificial flavors will not harm people in their recommended doses. If you limit these flavors, you should be safe.
In 2015, the World Health Organization cautioned that processed meats (salted, cured, fermented, or smoked) might increase the risk of cancer. This claim was well-backed by science. Research from that year found that eating 50 grams of processed meat per day raises the chances of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Processed red meat poses the most risk, and 3% of all cancers are linked to it, according to Cancer Research UK. Still, experts say that this is a reason to limit processed meat, not cut it out. The occasional hamburger shouldn't hurt you.
Sure, juice contains fruit, but that doesn't make it healthier than soda. In 2019, a study in The BMJ reported that even 100% real fruit juice is "significantly associated with the risk of overall cancer." Although juices are a bit better than soda due to their vitamins and fiber, their high sugar content still poses a risk.
Dr. Mathilde Touvier, who lead the research, recommends consuming less than one cup of juice per day. He added that, despite fruit juice's healthy reputation, participants also suffered from type 2 diabetes and obesity, which are risk factors for cancer.
In 2016, researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, compared thousands of lung cancer patients to those without lung cancer. While looking into their diets, they pinpointed high-glycemic foods--ones that are starchy and sugary, such as bagels. Those who frequently ate high-glycemic foods were 49% more likely to develop lung cancer.
Although the study included non-smokers, it did not take into account other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease. One of the researchers, Dr. Xifeng Wu, added that smoking is still more harmful than carbs. If there's a takeaway, it's this: diet has little impact on lung cancer as a whole.
BPA Canned Food
Despite health advocates fighting against bisphenol A (BPA) in canned foods, the trend continues. In animal studies, BPA has been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers, especially breast cancer. In 2017, research from the Center for Environmental Health noted that 40% of canned foods still contain BPA.
Although the FDA has wavered on its stance on BPA, many scientists assert that even small amounts can be harmful. "We believe there is no safe dose of BPA," says Lynn Ladbrook, the chief executive of Breast Cancer UK. That's reason enough to find BPA-free canned foods.
Do grilled meats pose a cancer risk? The research says: possibly. According to the National Capital Poison Center, studies have found that when fat drips onto coals, it produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These may alter a person's DNA and have been linked to skin, bladder, and lung cancer.
Most studies were laboratory-confined until 2016 when a study in Analytical Chemistry connected heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) from cooked meat to prostate cancer in humans. However, the risk is still small. According to biochemical toxicologist Robert Turesky, you can avoid the risk by grilling less often and cutting off the charred bits.
In recent years, margarine has come under fire for its high trans fat content. But in 2018, a Hong Kong study revealed a deadlier ingredient in margarine. Two "possibly carcinogenic" compounds, 3-MCPD and glycidol, form from heating vegetable oils in high temperatures. These compounds may mess with DNA and cause liver problems.
Fortunately, these chemicals appeared in small amounts during animal testing. The European Food Safety Authority stated that you would have to eat 24 spoons of margarine to receive negative effects. As with all foods, eat margarine in moderation.
Yes, milk is healthy. But consuming high intakes of dairy products has been linked to cancer, because of milk's hormone and fat content. For instance, a review of 32 studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition connected a high amount of dairy to prostate cancer. This was backed by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Prostate isn't the only cancer influenced by dairy. In 2014, researchers followed over 22,000 lactose intolerant individuals to record dairy's impact on health. They reported that lactose-intolerant people have a lower chance of contracting breast, lung, and ovarian cancers. You don't have to remove milk from your diet, but don't overdo it, either.
If you like crispy toast, you're not alone. But the Food Standards Agency advises against toasting your bread for too long. Why? It's because it produces the same chemical as frying potatoes: acrylamide. The carcinogenic chemical appears when sugary starches are cooked rapidly at high temperatures.
However, experts debate over whether acrylamide is enough to pose a huge danger. David Spiegelhalter, a professor at Cambridge University, said that you would have to eat 160 times more bread than the mice in studies to have a high risk.
In the early 2000s, french fry companies ran into several lawsuits. That's because researchers found the chemical acrylamide, which promoted cancer in animals. This research was backed up in a 2019 study published in Genome Research. During that study, 30% of the tumors analyzed linked back to acrylamide.
Although acrylamide has been known for a long time, some students did not find the link between that and cancer. Kathryn Wilson, an epidemiologist at Harvard, told NPR that acrylamide does not need to be a priority in health. And it's certainly not the least healthy part of french fries.
In 2012, a study came out that claimed genetically modified corn could promote cancer, and it was quickly retracted by the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Why? Because the study itself was flawed. According to Scientific American, the data was incorrectly written, some numbers were faked, and there was a clear bias from the authors.
Still, the study raised questions over whether corn carries carcinogens. In 2018, research from UNAM's Biology Institute noted that processed corn--usually found in tortillas--might have carcinogens. In particular, Mexico's corn contained some aflatoxins, which appears in some cancer tumors. The scientists claimed that eating antioxidant-rich food can counter this effect.
Beyond the acrylamide, there's another risk of eating too much bread. In particular, white bread contains sugars and starches that inflame the body. According to 2006 research in the International Journal of Cancer, eating five slices per day doubles a person's chances of kidney cancer.
White bread has demonstrated a higher risk than most other processed grains. In 2013, a study in Annals of Oncology noted that eating white bread poses a higher risk of colorectal cancer than pasta. That's another reason to swap white bread with wheat.
Ultra-processed foods, such as instant ramen and chicken nuggets, have contributed to obesity for decades. But in 2018, researchers found another risk in these foods other than their nutritional value. In The BMJ, a study reported that high amounts of processed food result in a 12% greater chance of ovarian and breast cancer.
Analyzed foods included packaged baked foods, processed meatballs, and frozen meals. Less-processed foods like pasta and cheese did not have this effect. French researcher and lead author Bernard Srour added that eating fresh foods lowers your risk of cancer.