According to the American Cancer society, a million people will get cancer this year alone. One of every two American men and one of every three American women will get some kind of cancer within their lifetimes. It’s enough to leave you feeling helpless, as if cancer is just one of the inevitables of life. But it doesn’t have to be.
Aside from getting plenty of sleep and reducing your stress ( and not smoking) there are just two steps you need to take to drastically reduce your risk of getting, or dying from, cancer.
Certain foods are new to the food chain and our bodies can’t handle very much of them. The two kinds of foods I’m talking about are sugar and vegetable oil.
Sugar sticks to proteins in your body by a process called Glycation, which leads to sugar coated proteins on the surfaces of your cells and moving parts. Fortunately, a healthy body can regulate blood sugar levels and keeps them low enough so that glycation occurs very slowly and repairs can always been made.
But when a person can no longer keep their blood sugar under control, their risk of cancer increases. Research has shown high blood sugar to be a direct cause of precancerous changes in kidney cells and in intestinal cells . But there is also research that suggests that sugar sticking to cell membranes leads to disturbances in cell function that can cause any and all types of cancer. And if your sugar levels are high—if you have insulin resistance or diabetes—your cell membranes are coated with sugar. (A fasting blood test can tell you if your sugar levels are too high, 90mg/dl or higher means your risk of cancer is increased.
Vegetable oils are cheap and highly processed. During processing, the heat, pressure, and chemical deodorizers deform the fatty acids. Once healthy essential omega-3 and -6 fatty acids get transformed into toxic compounds called lipid hydroperoxides, lipid epoxides, cyclic fatty acid monomers, and other cancer causing compounds.
Buy organic. Especially animal products.
You probably have read that certain fish contain dangerously high levels of mercury, so much that pregnant women should avoid them. This has to do with something called bioconcentration, which concentrates some fat soluble chemicals as you move up the food chain. Mercury gets into the food chain at the bottom, when it’s incorporated into algae and other plants. Herbivorous fish eat those plants, and usually contain only low levels of mercury. But the mercury they eat tends to get deposited in their fat and stay there for a very long time. So these fish have a higher concentration of mercury, pound for pound, than the plants they ate. The mercury has been bioconcentrated. The fish that eat herbivorous fish get larger doses of mercury than the fish that ate the plant, because of that bioconcentrating effect.
Conventionally grown plants are sprayed with all kinds of chemicals, which you avoid (more or less) by buying organic. Conventionally grown animals eat plants that have been sprayed with chemicals, and, like mercury, those chemicals bioconcentrate in the animal’s tissues. When you eat them, you’re like the fish at the top of the food chain with dangerously high levels of mercury in their tissues. When you buy organically grown animals raised on organic food themselves, you’re avoiding chemicals that were put into the plants and chemcials that were put into the animals. Not only are these animals chemical free (or nearly so) they tend to be raised in better circumstances and are healthier for you to eat because they got better care.
Our food chain is tainted with carcinogens at every level, from the ground, to the pesticides on plants, to the hormones injected into animals and included in their feed, to the fungicides and preservatives, and even the plastic containers our food comes in. Most of these are present at low levels, and so the FDA allows manufacturers to pump poising into our food on the theory that just a little bit probably won’t hurt. Fortunately, by buying organic, you can avoid most and maybe all of these nasty, industrial chemicals.
Bottom line? If you have a limited budget for organic, you get the most bang for your omnivorous buck by buying animal products.
Sugar and Kidney cancer: “Renal carcinogenesis in models of diabetes in rats: metabolic changes are closely related to neoplastic development.”
Sugar and intestinal cancer: “Hyperinsulinaemia and hyperglycaemia: possible risk factors of colorectal cancer among diabetic patients.”
High blood sugar as a carcinogen: “A novel function of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in association with tumorigenesis and tumor differentiation of HCC.”
Dangerous fats in vegetable oils: Formation of modified fatty acid and oxyphytosterols during refining of low eruic acid canola oil.