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Processed Food And Cancer

Aug 18, 2023
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How about having a bite of grilled chicken burger and coke? Or do you avoid them, considering your weight gain? If the latter is your choice, you are on the right path. It might taste good, but researchers have something else to say- processed foods increase cancer risk. Processed foods include packaged bakery products and snacks, sweetened or fizzy drinks, tinned food, processed meat, cheese, etc. They are often modified using artificial or chemical food colors, flavors, and emulsifiers.  A study published online by the British Medical Journal (The BMJ) in February 2018 states that every 10% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with a 12% higher risk for cancer in general and an 11% increased risk for breast cancer. The 2016 report by Foresight states that Sales of ultra-processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages are growing, and this growth is almost exclusively found in the under-developed and developing countries. In fact, India is a vast market for the food processing industry, involving local and international brands. 

 The hidden danger:

 The tasty sugar, oil, and fat-rich processed foods often lack essential nutrients, which add to cancer risk. There is evidence that relates processed red meat to liver, lung, colon, rectum, stomach, and kidney cancer.   

Way to a healthy life: 

An expert report from World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggests that diet and nutrition are modifiable factors for cancer prevention. The use of fresh and minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, rice and eggs, meat and fish, and milk is associated with lowering cancer risk.  You need to change your food habits and shift to a healthy way of life. The government, too, can make decisions to safeguard the food habits of the citizens, especially the younger generation.

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