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A study recently became very popular in which it was revealed that during 2020 alcohol consumption was related to 740,000 new cancer diagnoses. In a way, these data arrived in a forceful way to highlight the close relationship between daily life choices, diet, habits and the appearance of chronic diseases. In addition, complementary to this, numerous studies have come to light that prove the connection between a poor diet and based on ultra-processed, with the increased risk of certain types of cancer.
Over the years many specialists have spoken about it, fortunately there are more and more references about how nutrition is directly related to the increase or decrease in cancer cases. Based on this, we undertook the task of doing research on the relationship between the consumption of certain particular foods and the types of cancer with which they are related. Specifically, it is important to mention that most of the problem is not the food, but the additives, their caloric intake and harmful compounds.
1. Processed meats
Probably one of the most famous food categories that have been linked to cancer is processed meats, think of hot dogs, deli meats, sausage, and bacon. Although this type of meat is a good source of protein, normally any benefit is overshadowed by its high processing and content of additives that deteriorate health. The biggest problem with processed and smoked meats, is the presence of nitrites and nitrates, which are considered harmful substances that increase the risk of gliomas (brain cancer), as well as thyroid, colorectal and gastric cancer. It should be mentioned that the compounds themselves are not carcinogenic, rather they can be defined as potentially carcinogenic elements. Broadly speaking, what happens is that in the body they combine with other molecules and can form carcinogenic substances, and another long list of conditions such as hypertension renal impairment, weight gain and depression.
2. Red meat
At this point it is no secret to say that long-term excess red meat takes the toll on health issues, that is why currently the best recommendation is to bet on following a plant-based diet. The truth is that through various medical studies, red meat has been linked to colorectal, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Although the association is not entirely definitive and there are several factors that intervene in it, for example the origin of meat products, for obvious reasons the most recommended variants are organic, grass-fed and hormone-free meats. Therefore limiting your intake is a good measure to reduce the risk of cancer and other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity.
Let’s be clear, excessive alcohol consumption will never be related to positive aspects for health, it is a bad habit that deteriorates the quality of life and physical, emotional and mental health. However, in a specific way, there are some studies that show that people with a high and recurrent intake of alcohol are more likely to suffer from oral, esophageal, stomach, breast, liver and colon cancer. It is important to clarify that this increase are associations that occur with excessive intake.
4. Obesity is another factor
Last but not least we must emphasize that obesity is a risk factor for many types of cancer, and of course a long list of diseases that deteriorate health to unsuspected levels. Therefore it is indispensable avoid consuming ultra-processed foods that shine for their content in added sugars, saturated and trans fats, refined flours, sodium, colorings and additives, which are also usually very high in calories. And of course short, medium and long term, they are associated with serious health consequences. The best recommendation is to follow a Mediterranean, natural and processed-free eating style, limit alcohol, avoid sugary drinks, drink plenty of water, engage in physical activity, sleep well, and manage stress.
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