5 Foods That Can Cause Cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), has come out definitively with a report on cancer-causing processed meats, stating that such meats definitely can cause colorectal cancer. They have also stated that red meat in general “probably” causes cancers such as colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer.

Given that obesity is a risk factor for a number of different cancers, it is helpful to do all you can to decrease your risk.

Below are five foods to avoid, based on the recent report.

Hot Dog - Judy Unger/Illustration Works/Getty Images
Judy Unger/Illustration Works/Getty Images

1.  Hot Dogs

According to the IARC press release, “Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.”

Hot dogs are listed as one example of processed meat that can cause cancer. Specifically, the IARC classified processed meat as “carcinogenic [cancer-causing] to humans, based on sufficient evidence in humans that consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”

According to the IARC, a little over the equivalent of one hot dog per day is enough to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.

Beef Jerky - Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images
Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images

2.  Beef Jerky

Beef jerky also falls in to processed meat group and was listed as a specific example in the IARC press release as a processed meat that can cause cancer.

The IARC press release regarding the recent findings stated that IARC experts “considered more than 800 studies that investigated associations of more than a dozen types of cancer with the consumption of red meat or processed meat in many countries and populations with diverse diets.”

The IARC Working Group found that “the most influential evidence came from largeprospective cohort studies conducted over the past 20 years.”

Nuremberger sausage - dm909/Moment/Getty Images
dm909/Moment/Getty Images

3.  Sausage

Sausage is another kind of processed meat that was given as an example in the IARC press release as being cancer-causing.

The IARC has stated that “each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.”

The IARC further noted that “the consumption of meat varies greatly between countries, with from a few percent up to 100% of people eating red meat, depending on the country, and somewhat lower proportions eating processed meat.”

Carved glazed ham - Cultura RM/Diana Miller/Getty Images
Cultura RM/Diana Miller/Getty Images

4.  Ham

Ham is a processed meat that is not only carcinogenic due to its processed nature, but has also been linked to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases because of its very high sodium content.

Other processed deli meats, such as pastrami, salami, pepperoni, and the like, present the same cancer-causing risk.

A tasty sandwich - Tetra Images/Getty Images
Tetra Images/Getty Images

5.  Corned Beef

Corned beef was also one of the examples listed by the IARC as a processed meat linked to colorectal cancer.

The IARC further noted that “most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry … or meat byproducts such as blood.”

Other examples of processed mat listed in the IARC press release included canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.



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