Junk food WARNING: Eating processed food does ‘CRAZY’ things to your cancer risk

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junk-food(NaturalHealth365) Most of us “get it” that eating candy and highly processed food is bad for us.  But, while most people try to avoid junk food because it will make them fat, many still fail to realize the most serious problem with eating these “treats.”

In a nutshell (no pun intended), the alarming results of a recent study clearly link junk food eating habits with a substantial increase in cancer risk.

NEW research: Every 10% increase in calories from junk food triggers a ‘CRAZY’ effect on cancer risk

And, just to be clear, it’s ‘crazy’ because once you realize that a bad habit (substantially) increases the risk of cancer and you continue to do it … that’s crazy.

According to most integrative physicians, 95% of all cancer diagnoses are related to environment and lifestyle. Even the American Institute for Cancer Research’s more conservative estimate of one-third is still startling.

What’s the major takeaway from this statement?  A cancer diagnosis is avoidable with proper lifestyle changes. And of all the lifestyle changes you could make, avoiding processed food is one of the most important.

Consider data from a French prospective cohort study called NutriNet-Santé – data which spanned eight years and involved 104,980 subjects. By analyzing daily meal logs, researchers were able to determine an important correlation:

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If just 10% of person’s total daily calories came from “ultra-processed” foods, then they had a 12% INCREASED risk for overall cancer. Subsequent 10% increments in junk food calories increased their cancer risk by the same degree!

The researchers suggest several possible reasons why. First, junk food has more refined sugar, less fiber, and less vitamins and minerals compared to whole and minimally processed foods – all of which can disrupt the healthy gut microbiota and promote inflammation.

Second, chemicals, preservatives, fillers, and other ingredients (as well as the PROCESSING of these ingredients, e.g., the application of pesticides) are carcinogenic in their own right.

The research is clear: repeatedly eating these foods can lead to serious health complications over time – not the least of which is packing on the pounds.

Best junk food advice: Avoid the heavily processed foods that can make you sick

It’s not just candy and cakes which increase your cancer risk. Here’s an extensive list of the foods which the researchers considered “ultra-processed:”

“[M]ass produced packaged breads and buns; sweet or savory packaged snacks; industrialized confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; meat balls, poultry and fish nuggets, and other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites); instant noodles and soups; frozen or shelf stable ready meals; and other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats, and other substances not commonly used in culinary preparations such as hydrogenated oils, modified starches, and protein isolates. Industrial processes notably include hydrogenation, hydrolysis, extruding, moulding, reshaping, and pre-processing by frying. Flavoring agents, colors, emulsifiers, humectants, non-sugar sweeteners, and other cosmetic additives are often added to these products to imitate sensorial properties of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.”

Want a few simple hacks to help you make smarter choices at the grocery store? Keep these tips in mind:

  • Opt for whole real food in its natural state whenever possible – these are usually found along the perimeters of the grocery store.
  • If it has a super long shelf life and/or is found in the middle aisles of the grocery store, be suspicious.
  • If it contains ingredients you can’t read, be suspicious. As the esteemed journalist Michael Pollan advises, avoid “food-like substances.”

Lastly, realize that food which has been heavily manufactured, tinkered with, and ultra-processed is virtually addictive by design.  Keep this in mind: the largest food producers in the world want you to crave sugary foods because they’re cheap, accessible, and something you’ll want to buy again and again!

Fortunately, you can train yourself and your family to break the cycle: skip the processed garbage, learn how to cook simple (healthy) meals, and eat as close to nature (organic) as possible.  Even if you change just one meal at a time, start somewhere.

Editor’s note: I know most of our NaturalHealth365 readers already appreciate much of what this article is saying.  Yet, the main point of this article is to provide a ‘tool’ for you to share with someone else that needs to read this message.

Keep in mind: it’s NOT about ‘convincing’ anyone to do anything.  But, I do believe it’s our responsibility to share valuable information with others and let them decide.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalMedicineJournal.com
NIH.gov