Cancer affects millions of people globally, and is one of the most common diseases of the age. While there is no magic solution for preventing cancer, a change of diet and lifestyle could significantly reduce your risk of getting it, and produce other, positive health effects within your body and brain.

A lot of foods in our modern diet are making us sick and leading to increasing levels of disease such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, among others. Avoid these 11 foods and it will have a positive impact on your health.

1. Margarine

At one time, margarine was hailed as a healthy alternative to butter, but new research has discovered that organic, grass fed butter is actually far better for you. Margarine is full of trans fats, and is heavily processed from oils like soy and corn. The process exposes the oil to high temperatures, which causes a rise in dangerous free radicals.

2. Deli Meats

bacon cheddar tart

Processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs have been shown to increase cancer risk. These and other deli meats contain high levels of sodium, as well as nitrates and other harmful chemicals. Studies have shown that these meats can lead to an increased risk of cancer, especially stomach cancers.

3. Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn

Do you want some deadly chemicals to go with that? A favorite quick and easy snack, the bags of microwave popcorn are often lined with carcinogenic chemicals. The non-stick coating breaks down into perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to liver and prostate cancer.

4. All Soda Drinks – Including Diet

Sugar has been shown to feed cancer cells, and soda is packed full of refined sugars. Diet sodas are just as damaging to health, as there is the risk of obesity, which leads to a bigger risk of breast, colon, kidney, endometrial and pancreatic cancers.

5. Canned Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes are very good for health as they contain many nutrients, including cancer-fighting lycopene. However, once they are canned, they are exposed to BPA, which leaches from the can because of the high acidity level of tomatoes. This chemical has been linked to cancer, but also to heart disease and reproductive issues.

6. Farmed Salmon

Salmon is another healthy food, but only when it is wild-caught and isn’t contaminated. More than 60% of the salmon produced in the US is farmed, which leads to an increase in exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides. These substances influence damage from free radicals, and can also reduce the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Fried Foods

Fried foods increase your risk of obesity as well as cancer and other serious health conditions. This is mainly because of the hydrogenated oils the food is fried in. High consumption of trans fats leads to inflammation, insulin resistance and a higher risk of cancer.

8. Potato Chips

Chips (or crisps if you’re in the UK) are a handy snack, but regular consumption is unwise. Chips are likely fried in hydrogenated oils, but they also contain colors, preservatives and artificial flavors. A chemical called acrymalide is often used, which is a known carcinogen. Air popped popcorn or fresh raw veg are better alternatives.

9. Diet Foods

Sweeteners

A lot of low-fat or ‘dietfoods are marketed as being healthy because they have low or no fats, but they’re packed full of sugar instead. Often, artificial sweeteners are used to keep the calorie count down, and the sweeteners themselves pose health risks.

10. Red Meat

In the West, we eat far too much red meat and not enough vegetables – the average person eats 41.90 kg of meat per year. Research is conflicting, but it has been found that red meat contains substances linked to colon cancer, but you can reduce your cancer risk by eating 18 ounces or less of red meat.

11. White Flour

flour

If you choose to follow an anti-cancer diet, you should focus on low glycemic index (GI) foods, as this starves the tumors and cancer cells. Refined grains, such as white flour are high glycemic index foods, and white flour is found in many foodstuffs, from crackers to donuts, and not just white bread.

Try to eat more whole grains, such as rye bread instead.