Cancer Risk Linked to Highly Processed Foods
Doctors have long advised patients to eat whole grains along with fresh fruits and vegetables as a means to help reduce the risk of cancer. Obesity also causes an increased risk of cancer, and foods that have been highly processed tend to have a lot of calories with little nutritional value. A recent study conducted by researchers located in France and Brazil found that highly processed foods have an increased risk of cancer in addition to being bad from a nutritional standpoint.
The researchers looked at food that was “ultra-processed”, which simply means that it has been heavily processed. They found that a 10% increase in the amount of these ultra-processed foods in the diet would cause a risk of greater than 10% when it came to overall cancer and breast cancer. The research was an ongoing survey of more than 100,000 adults in France. After five years, they found that there were 2,200 cases of cancer within this group.
The researchers said that the study does not definitively prove that the highly processed foods were the cause of the cancer, as many who eat unhealthily also have other dangerous habits, such as smoking, that could increase the risk. They did say that the ultra-processed foods did tend to have higher fat content, saturated fat, added salt and sugar, and a lower amount of fiber and vitamin density. The processing can also create carcinogenic compounds.