Cancer patients – and even those who want to prevent cancer – are often perplexed about dietary change. Many have the sense that everything is bad for them, there’s nothing left to eat, and they have to choose between dying of cancer or starvation! The truth is there are so many cancer-fighting foods and beverages that it is hard to fit them into a day. But yes, certain foods and beverages can definitely contribute to cancer or block your body’s ability to heal if you’ve already been diagnosed. Here are my top five to eliminate immediately:
- Cow dairy products
Numerous studies have confirmed that cow milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt greatly increase the risk of cancers of the breast, prostate, and ovary, as well as leukemia and lymphoma. This is not primarily due to milk fat or milk sugar or synthetic added growth hormones, but rather to milk proteins like casein and intrinsic hormones like insulin-like growth factor present even in organic cow dairy products.
- Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup
Foods containing sugar are ubiquitous in our western diet, and cancer cells are obligate sugar metabolizers – in other words, sugar is cancer’s preferred fuel. Sugar suppresses immune response, causes the body to secrete insulin (a strong promoter of cancer growth), and contributes to obesity, a known cause of cancer. Sugar also has been shown to activate cancer-promoting oncogenes, inflammation, and candidiasis.
- Alcoholic beverages
Researchers have determined that beer, wine or mixed drinks – even one per day – can increase your risk of many types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast. Alcohol raises levels of cancer-promoting hormones and carcinogens, produces free radicals that damage cellular DNA, impairs absorption of cancer-fighting nutrients, and increases cancer risk in smokers.
- Processed, cured and grilled meat
Meat-eaters in general have a 40% higher risk of dying of cancer than non meat-eaters, probably because most meats are high in fat and low in fiber – both risk factors for cancer. But processed and grilled meats are especially dangerous and major risk factors for colorectal cancers. Bacon, sausage, hotdogs, and lunch meat contain carcinogenic nitrates and nitrites, and charbroiling meats produces carcinogenic heterocyclic amines.
- Omega 6 oils
These include sunflower, soybean, corn, cottonseed, and safflower oil. Too much fat in general is not good for you because the hormones and chemicals that contribute to cancer love fat, but high amounts of omega 6 fats in particular are immunosuppressive. Furthermore, if those fats are hydrogenated they increase risk for cancer, and if they are heated they produce toxic cancer-causing aldehydes.
Just think of these food categories as CRAP-O for your body!