8 Carcinogenic Foods that You Should Stop Eating

It's best to limit your consumption of certain carcinogenic foods to maintain good health and to avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary dangers.
8 Carcinogenic Foods that You Should Stop Eating

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Cancer is one of the scariest diseases that modern medicine has seen, in spite of the advancements in cancer research and knowledge of carcinogenic foods.

Studies have been able to prove that there are a lot of factors that lead to the development of cancer, and to a certain extent, everyone is at risk of contracting it.

The link that it has with diet is fairly complex and hard to establish, especially because each individual has different dietary habits and lifestyles.

But despite this, experts have been able to ascertain that there is indeed a relationship between consuming certain foods and a greater risk of developing this disease.

The most worrisome of all is that a lot of these foods are continually present in diets, and consumers don’t even know they’re harmful.

That’s why bodies like the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has created special announcements that list these carcinogenic foods that should be avoided or reduced.

Today, we would like to share with you the 8 primary carcinogenic foods so that you can identify them, and start to take your own measures.

1. Carcinogenic foods: anything processed

Processed and canned food

All processed foods are full of additives, like artificial coloring, sweeteners or preservatives, and more.  These have been proven to be harmful for our health.

Substances like those found in smoked foods and sausages are responsible for liver, stomach, and colon risk.

2. Refined sugar

White, or refined, sugar is considered to be “cancer’s food,” because it influences the growth of malignant cells.

Sweeteners like fructose are even worse because they cause cancer cells to metabolize more quickly.

It’s important to remember that these types of sugars are present in a wide variety of foods that we regularly eat:

These carcinogenic foods include:

  • Cookies
  • Pastries
  • Sodas
  • Crackers
  • Sweets
  • Energy drinks
  • Sauces
  • Pasta
  • Canned foods

Check out:

Sodas: Tooth Enemies

3. Red meat

Rare steak

Excessive consumption of red meat and processed meats is linked with a 22% increased risk of breast cancer.

The American Institute of Cancer Research warns that steak addicts have up to 36% greater risk of suffering from colon cancer.

4. White flour

White flour is one of those foods that has a high glycemic index, which is related to growth and spreading of cancer cells throughout the body.

During the whitening process, flour loses an important part of its properties, and then chemical substances are added in. These chemicals are aggressive to the body.

5. Fried food

Fries and chicken nuggets

Fried foods contain high levels of a carcinogenic substance known as acrylamide, which is formed when foods are subjected to high temperatures.

This compound is present in any food that has been prepared at higher than 120 degrees Celsius.

Cooking methods like frying, baking and grilling can cause higher amounts of acrylamide than steaming or microwaving foods.

Another reason experts consider them carcinogenic is because of their trans fat content. These appear in hydrogenated food.

These fats aren’t only related to cancer, but also to cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

6. Genetically modified foods

Unfortunately for all of us, genetically modified foods have invaded our markets and they make up a large amount of the products in our shopping baskets.

These and other chemicals are used during cultivation, which is strongly connected to an increased risk of tumors in the body.

The most popular GMO’s are corn, soy and conventional colza derivatives.

7. Microwave popcorn


Homemade popcorn is healthy, and it has a lot of benefits for the body.

But don’t confuse it with popcorn sold in bags for the microwave.  Even though they’re generally tastier, they’re full of chemicals related to cancer.

The chemicals released by the heat may cause various types of tumors and infertility. They also contain an additive known as “diacetyl,” which could have a lot to do with severe lung diseases.

Add all of this to the fact that they also contain genetically modified substances.

8. Charred food

Foods that have burned a little during cooking create harmful molecules that could stimulate the growth of malignant cells.

It’s best to prepare them medium rare to prevent them from charring.

Even though more studies are needed to link dietary habits to cancer, you should start to consider these scientific finds.

Try to base your diet on foods that are organic and high in nutrition instead of carcinogenic foods.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bolet Astoviza, M., & Socarrás Suárez, M. M. (2010). Alimentación adecuada para mejorar la salud y evitar enfermedades crónicas. Revista Cubana de medicina general integral26(2), 0-0.
  • Cabrera, D. M. (2007). Repercusiones de la comida rápida en la sociedad. Trastornos de la conducta alimentaria, (6), 635-659.
  • Segura Fuentes, S. (2015). Organismos modificados genéticamente. Luces y sombras de los alimentos transgénicos.
  • Moorthy B., Chu C., Carlin DJ., Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: from metabolism to lung cancer. Toxicol Sci, 2015. 145 (1): 5-15.
  • Pelucchi C., Bosetti C., Galeone C., La Vecchia C., Dietary acrylamide and cáncer risk : an updated meta analysis. Int J Cancer, 2015. 136 (12): 2912-22.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.