16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every Day

Food, Lists

Cancer is one of those diseases that loom over a good majority of the population. It can be avoided, but there are circumstances beyond our control that sometimes force our hand. However, there are some foods that the normal person may eat on a daily basis that could increase the chances of acquiring cancer through the chemicals and process that ensures we can eat these types of goods. Unfortunately, most people don’t really pay attention to what goes into the items they consume, which is an unhealthy process. Avoiding these 16 foods altogether, or even limiting your intake of them, can help reduce your chances of contracting cancer.

Processed Meats

Lunch meat tends to be a favorite food, especially among the younger crowds out there. Unfortunately, food items such as ham, turkey, bacon, sausage, and even hot dogs, are loaded with chemical preservatives to help the meat appear fresh and healthy. These preservatives can cause cancer within the human body, though. Both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite have been known to increase the chances of contracting colon and other forms of cancer. Choosing uncured meat products made without the use of either preservative, and preferably grass-fed sources, is the best option for avoiding this issue altogether. However, even eating processed meats in moderation can be fine. For those that eat it regularly, though, it may be time to switch to something on the healthier side of the spectrum in the near future. Be sure to check the labels on the meat you purchase within the store, or ask an associate at said store before buying.


Soda, much like processed meats and the other food items on this list, cause cancer when drinking in excess. The liquid within those colorful cans tends to be loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and coloring, which all help to acidify the body and feed the growth of cancer cells. Common soda chemicals, such as caramel coloring and its derivative 4-methylimidazole, have both been linked to causing cancer within someone. Again, drinking soda in moderation can be helpful to reduce the risk of contracting cancer through the chemicals within the drink. However, drinking more than one per day is quite bad for you. Cutting the use of soda out altogether could be the best option you have for leading a healthier, cancer-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are so many other food items out there that can feed cancer growth that it is hard to count on dropping one item to really help. It’s a start, though.

Microwave Popcorn

It is hard to obtain the same level of quality and nostalgia that grabbing a bucket of popcorn at the latest movie to release can incur within someone. However, the option to purchase microwave popcorn in easy to use bags has ensured everyone can have their favorite late night snack right from home. Unfortunately, those bags are lined with chemicals to ensure the contents inside are kept fresh for when they are eaten. These chemicals have been found to cause not only infertility, but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers in people. The chemical, which the Environmental Protection Agency has found to be perfluorooctanoic acid, is found within the lining of the bag. This chemical, thanks to studies, has been known to to cause tumors within the human body. A chemical within the popcorn itself has also been known to cause both lung damage and cancer, too. Cutting it out altogether could be beneficial.

Diet Foods

Stores and the brands that are sold within them try to push a lot of products, especially frozen meals, off as a completely healthy, low-fat option for those on a diet at the moment. However, the majority of these diet foods tend to be incredibly bad for people. These meals are said to be worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda, for example. Studies by the European Food Safety Authority have revealed that apartame, one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners, can cause a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose, saccharin, and other artificial sweeteners have been linked to causing cancer, too. The boxes for these frozen meals may lead you to believe they are healthy due to their contents, or lack thereof, but it is what has been added in to ensure it is fresh that is the real danger within the packaging. Moderation remains key.

Refined Sugars

Sugar in large quantities has always been bad for the human body, though it is also a necessity in some cases, too. However, refined sugars have been known to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells within the human body. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup have been known to be some of the worst offenders. Cancer cells have been found to appear quickly and easily metabolize to spread throughout the body in those who eat too much refined sugar in their diet. Cookies, cakes, pie, soda, cereal, sauce, juice, and many other processed foods use these types of sugars regularly. Cancer rates are on the rise due to the aforementioned food items being readily available within stores throughout the country. The cancer cells in your body feed off this sugar in far greater quantities than healthy cells do, unfortunately. Health conditions abound with the intake of sugar, but cancer is the worst case scenario.

Red Meat

Eating red meat is almost a national past time within the United States. Seeing this entry here shouldn’t give you too much cause for concern, however, as eating red meat occasionally won’t increase your risk of getting cancer. Unfortunately, eating large quantities or on a daily basis can, in fact, help cancer cells grow within the body. Small amounts of red meat can be really beneficial to your health, but choosing the grass fed beef as an option is the far healthier choice. Overindulging, like in many other types of foods, is where the problem lies. Research conducted by the Harvest Medical School have shown that frequent, high consumption of red meat is linked to increases in development of colorectal cancer. The same study revealed both fish and chicken were healthier options to protect and decrease the risk of cancer growth. Again, eating red meat in small quantities is just fine. Check the label on your package before purchase, though.

‘Dirty’ Fruits

Most people get it in their mind that they are heating healthier than most others when they opt for apples, grapes, or strawberries while they are in the store shopping. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Unless the consumer is purchasing organic or those fruits verified to be completely pesticide-free, the risk of cancer is rather large. The Environmental Working Group has discovered that 98 percent of conventional produce, especially those within the ‘dirty’ fruits list, is contaminated by cancer causing pesticides. When eaten by a pregnant women, babies have been found to be born with a reduced body weight. Along with that, the chemicals found within the pesticide residue on apples, oranges, strawberries, and grapes are some of the worst around. 90 percent of these fruits were found to contain the pesticide residue. Washing, unfortunately, does not always help remove this residue. Verify what was used in the cultivation before purchasing ‘dirty’ fruits.

Canned Tomatoes

The majority of canned products sold within your local shopping mart are a cause for concern, but canned tomatoes appear to be the worst. The lining in the cans used to contain said food is made using a chemical known as bisphenol-A, or BPA. This chemical is highly toxic to the human body and will speed the growth of cancerous cells inside. However, tomatoes tend to be exceptionally dangerous due to the high levels of acidity within them. This acidity causes the BPA to leech from the lining of the can and into the food themselves. These can be so high in fact that the consumer should consider not feeding their children canned tomatoes whatsoever. There are currently no FDA laws that require a company to label BPA. In order to avoid these chemicals, consumers should purchase fresh tomatoes or glass bottles for their sauce. Moderation may not be key in these circumstances due to the acidity within the tomatoes themselves.

Farmed Salmon

Fish is considered one of the healthiest options you can pick when you’re shopping for meat in the store. However, farmed salmon is something you should really avoid when you’re looking for a healthy option. Unfortunately, over 60 percent of the salmon consumed within the United States was raised on a farm specifically built for that purpose. These fish are fed unnatural diets that are full of chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, and other well known carcinogens. These animals live in crowded conditions that have been found to have 30 times the number of sea lice than wild salmon. The chemicals these fish are fed help ensure their meat is the reddish pink color that should occur naturally, but doesn’t. There are also less healthy omega-3 that is known to be within fish. High levels of PCB’s, mercury, and cancer causing dioxins are located within farmed salmon. Avoid these and purchase canned or look for labels that state the fish you are using is wild sockeye salmon.

Potato Chips

Potato chips are difficult to put down once you sit back in your favorite chair or on the couch with a bag and a favorite movie or television series. We all tell ourselves we’ll only have one or two, maybe a handful, but it turns into half the bag before you even know it. These chips are said to contain high levels of acrylamide, another carcinogenic substance that is activated when foods are heated to high temperatures through baking or frying. Studies done on animals have revealed various types of cancer can be caused through these chemicals. Along with the acrylamide, potato chips contain artificial flavoring, many different types of preservatives, and coloring, too. Baked potato chips or tortilla chips are a healthier option, both of which are lower in fat and calories. Air popped popcorn and whole wheat pretzels are even better. Moderation is the most important when it comes to snack foods.

Hydrogenated Oils

Processed foods are really bad for you, this we probably all know already. However, it is what is in the processed food that is the problem for most people. These hydrogenated oils are commonly used to preserve processed food and to keep them stable while being stuck on a shelf for long periods of time. These oils tend to alter the structure and integrity of cell membranes within the human body, which tends to lead towards diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are working to remove the usage of hydrogenated oils and replace them with palm oil or another safe alternative. Trans fats are still widely used, unfortunately. Vegetable oils tend to contain high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids, of which an excess can cause health problems. A balance must be formed between Omega 3 and Omega 6 for a healthy diet. Supplements and grass fed meats should do the trick to balance oils out.

Salted, Smoked, or Pickled Foods

Nitrates don’t cause cancer on their own, but under certain conditions the chemicals can be changed within the body intro N-nitroso composites. It is these that are associated with a greater increase in the risk of developer certain types of cancer. Foods that are cured by the usage of nitrates or nitrites to act as preservatives or add color to the food in question tend to be the worst off. Smoking foods such as meat or nuts causes them to absorb the tar from the smoke. Meats such as bacon, sausage, bologna, and salami are high in fat and salt. While pickled foods tend to have high amounts of salt, too. Evidence has pointed towards these types of foods producing colorectal cancer and high rates of stomach cancer within people. Places such as Japan have an even higher rate of stomach cancer due to the amount of highly salted or smoked foods that ingest regularly.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners tend to be used when people try to lose weight or avoid sugar due to their dietary concerns. Unfortunately, the problem with these alternatives is that those who consume them on a regular basis, such as in soda or coffee sweeteners, tend to actually gain weight overall. They also do far little to nothing to help with those suffering from diabetes. In fact, artificial sweeteners tend to make it far more difficult for the body to regular the blood sugar levels. Aspartame, a chemical within the sweeteners, has been found to cause convulsions in some people. These chemicals are broken down within the body into a deadly toxin known as DKP. Your stomach then processes this toxin and it will produce chemicals that may cause cause, especially brain tumors in some people. When you need to find a substitute for your substitute sweetener, you know the chemicals used are getting out of hand in the food industry.


Alcohol has always been known to cause problems within the human body, especially when one drinks far more than they should. An American study revealed that the intake of alcohol in over 200,000 women who drank one drink per day or less had an almost 30 percent increase in breast cancer rates when compared to those who did not drink at all. Alcohol is currently the second leading cause of cancer, just behind tobacco usage. Moderate to low consumption of alcohol can be healthy and even lead to a reduced risk in heart disease, but excessive drinking may cause heart failure, stroke, or sudden death. The World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer found that alcohol usage may cause mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast cancers. A glass of wine or alcohol after dinner could be good for your health, but leave it at one to ensure nothing bad occurs.

White Flours

Refined white flour is a common ingredient within the majority of processed foods. The excess carbohydrate content within the flour is the main cause for concern, however. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention discovered that refined carbohydrates were linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. Rapid rises in blood sugar levels throughout the body, which fuel cancer cell growth and spread, were also discovered within high-glycemic foods in general. The mills that bleach this flour tend to use a chemical known as chlorine gas, which is a dangerous irritant that is unsafe to inhale and can be lethal in large quantities. Cancerous tumors feed on sugars within the bloodstream, so avoiding refined grains can starve a tumor completely. Find healthier options at your local store if you need to get your hands on flour. Choosing flour that has not been bleached white is the best option you can choose, too.

French Fries

French fries, much like potato chips, have high levels of acrylamide, a carcinogenic substance that forms within food at high temperatures, such as when they are baked or fried. Studies have shown this substance will increase the risk of numerous different types of cancer within the human body. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has said that acrylamide is a probably human carcinogen. Food heated to a temperature above 242 degrees Fahrenheit generally has levels of the substance within them. However, French fries tend to contain one of the highest levels amongst food tested by the Research agency. More research is needed to determine the exact facts, but it is known to cause forms of cancer within the host. Limiting the amount of French fries you eat, or finding a healthier alternative overall, is the best option when attempting to avoid the growth or spread of cancerous cells in the body.