Some foods have been promoted as “healthy,” when they’re exactly the opposite. Clean Plates founder Jared Koch shared nine examples. Here’s an expansion on his observations:
1. Canned Tomatoes Many canned foods contain BPA, a toxic chemical linked to reproductive and neurological abnormalities, such as breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease. High acidity in tomatoes causes BPA to leach into your food. Consumer Reports‘ testing noted that only a few servings per day exceeds safety limits for children. To avoid this, don’t purchase canned foods. Stick to fresh fruits and vegetables or buy only glass containers, especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.
2. Processed Meats A 2011 review of more than 7,000 clinical studies, commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund examined the connection between diet and cancer confirmed previous findings that processed meats like ham and salami increase colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Processed meats should be avoided entirely because they’re typically made from animals injected with growth hormones, antibiotics and sodium nitrite, which can convert into cancer-causing nitrosamines. Other cancer-promoting chemicals proliferate when cooked at high temperatures, such as:
- Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs), associated with increased stomach, colon and breast cancer risk;
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), toxins formed when meats are smoke-cured or grilled as fat drips onto the heat source;
- Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), formed by pasteurization and sterilization, building slowly in your body and promoting oxidative stress, inflammation and increased disease risk.
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