According to the Singapore Cancer Society, Cancer is the No 1 killer in Singapore, with 1 in every 3 Singaporeans dying from cancer. We lose 16 people from cancer each day while 37 are diagnosed with cancer, daily. (Statistics from the Ministry of Health, updated 1 September 2015).
For males, the top cancer that they may fall victim to is colorectal cancer while amongst women, most of them have breast cancer.
Cancer happens due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, diet and lifestyle. For example, we know that exposure to certain chemicals, such as those found in smoke-filled environments and being near radiation-emitting devices, increase a person’s risk of cancer.
At the same time, eating certain foods that contain harmful chemicals will also put an individual at a greater risk of getting cancer.
Here are some of the foods that increase a person’s risk of getting cancer.
1. Processed MeatAny meat that contains a high amount of artificial flavourings or colours can increase a person’s risk of cancer. These include sausages, luncheon meat, bacon, canned meats, beef jerky and bak kwa.
In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, if you eat 50 grams of processed meat every day, your risk of having colorectal cancer will increase by 18 per cent. This would work out to be about two slices of bacon on a daily basis.
If you really have to eat processed meat, try and avoid those containing nitrates, nitrites and other chemicals. So if you read the bottom of the can and find that the list of chemically-based ingredients is very long, do not buy that brand. Try and keep the chemicals down to a bare minimum.
Soda contains plenty of chemicals, which include sugars, artificial colours and preservatives, as well as colouring agents. One of these colouring agents is 4-methylimidazole, which is a carcinogen that is known to cause cancer.
In fact if you drink one can of soda every day, you will substantially increase your cancer risk, according to the World Health Organisation.
3. GMOsGenetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs for short, are typically plants and animals that have been artificially modified in a lab to alter their genetic structure – usually to make them grow bigger, fatter and faster for human consumption.
With increasing demand often outstripping supply, GMOs are becoming increasingly common in today’s marketplace for various types of fruits, vegetables and meats.
However, studies have shown that these can be harmful for the body, causing ailments such as kidney disease and liver damage, birth defects, damaging of the gut health and certain cancers. This may also lead to other illnesses in the long run.
Adding sugar into your coffee can be harmful. This is because sugar, a highly processed ingredient, is extremely acidic to the body. As such, it not only increases your risk of cancer, but it also impairs the immune system and directly feed cancer tumours.
5. Artificial foods and sweetenersWhile natural sugars are bad enough, artificial sweeteners and low-fat products are even worse, when it comes to increasing your risk of cancer. Some examples include zero-calorie soft drinks and artificially produced weight-loss products.
This is because these contain harmful substances like neurotoxins which can disrupt the function of the beneficial bacteria in our gut and create imbalances in our body which cause cancer cells to thrive.
The conclusion would be to stick to eating natural, organic ingredients and foods – so that you will have a lower risk of getting cancer. If the item you want to buy contains more chemicals than real food, then don’t buy it.