10 foods that are tied directly to cancer

You already know that certain foods are bad for your waistline and heart, but recent research confirms that junk food and other culprits may up your risk for cancer, too. Here’s what you need to know.

Food for thought

There are plenty of reasons to improve the quality of your diet, but researchers have recently confirmed that lowering your risk of developing certain types of cancer may be the best reason of all. Eating processed foods high in sugar, fat, and sodium puts you at higher risk of obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. And now a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine finds a link between a nutrition-poor diet and an increased risk of many types of cancers.

The research

The researchers relied on a U.K. nutritional labeling system known as the Nutri-Score logo—which has been in use since 2007—to evaluate the diets of more than 470,000 adults. Even after correcting for other factors such as exercise habits and smoking, they found that adults whose diets featured foods with the poorest scores had the highest risk of stomach, colorectal, and respiratory tract cancers, as well as lung cancer (for men) and liver and postmenopausal breast cancer (for women). Check out 30 foods proven to help prevent cancer.

Don’t fear food

The study doesn’t indicate that an occasional drive-through dinner is going to kill you. Experts say that the problem is with a diet that’s consistently poor: If you’re not regularly eating lean protein, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables and instead eating a diet heavy on fat, sugar, sodium, and processed foods—it’s time to reevaluate. Here are the types of food that experts say you’ll want to cut back on to lower your risk of cancer.

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