With all the wonderful superfoods out there, it’s also important to bring to light the foods to avoid. Since food is medicine, we have the power to choose the foods that can optimize our health AND avoid those foods that are known to cause cancer and other health problems.
One of the most common cancer causing foods, which are easy to avoid, yet all of us have consumed them growing up, and many people continue to eat them everyday, are cured and processed meats like:
- cold cuts
- canned meats
- meats in prepackaged foods like canned soups and frozen pizzas.
“Nitrosating agents” like sodium nitrite are preservatives added to meats to prevent bacterial growth in order to prolong shelf life. They then form “nitrosamines” in the food and these chemical have been proven in many studies to actually cause OR increase the risk of many types of cancer including those along the digestive track (like colon), the kidneys, the lungs, the thyroid and more. It is mandated for companies to label foods containing "nitr-" chemical and this is why reading labels is so important.
These processed meats are carcinogens, aka cancer causing foods, and it's been proven in the medical literature. I stopped eating processed meats all together when I left the hospital and became aware of this information, because believe it or not, cold cut sandwiches were served to us doctors twice a week!
Now, I eat a mostly plant based diet, and if I feel my body needs meat, I’m sure to know it is from an organic farm source because there is A TON of unsafe meat out there. Health food stores and healthy supermarkets like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, sell packaged meats that are organic and preservative free if you feel you really can’t live without your “lunch” meat.