Friday, April 27, 2007

Cancer Cautions

Always, and I mean ALWAYS take these kinds of stories with a grain of salt, but it's always interesting to see what people are writing about when you see a screaming headline like The top five cancer-causing foods.

In this case, it's actually quite interesting from a low-carb standpoint.

The "worst foods" list was based on the following "worst-offenders" in terms of links to cancer:

#1 SUGAR. And with it, refined simple carbs such as refined grains. Sugars feed tumors. And man oh man is it addictive.

#2 PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS, aka Trans Fats. I thought this list made an interesting comment about food labels and trans fats. Ever wonder at how quickly companies were able to comply with the "no trans fat" rules? The good old FDA deigns that anything .5 g or less is the same as 0 as far as labeling is concerned. So food manufacturers are simply changing portion sizes to be .5 so they can claim to be "trans fat free."

#3 ACRYLAMIDES, cancer-causing agents produced when starchy foods are grilled or fried.

#4 NITRITE AND NITRATES, carcinogens added to processed meats such as hot dogs or bacon that acts as a preservative and gives food that "fresh" reddish color.

Given those four elements, then, the site lists these as the worst offenders in cancer-causing foods:

1. Hot dogs. The Cancer Prevention Coalition recommends that children not eat more than 12 hots dogs a month....I'm sorry but that's a LOT of hot dogs. Do kids eat that many hot dogs? Anyway, look for hot dogs without sodium nitrate in the list of ingredients.

2. Processed deli meats and bacon. You can also find uncured bacon now; again, look for sodium nitrate and if you see it, walk away.

3. Doughnuts. Trans fat, white flour, sugar, acrylamides. Need I say more?

4. French fries. Sigh. Trans fat, simple carb, acrylamides.

5. Chips/crackers/cookies. Trans fat, white flour, sugar. See the note above about serving size. Apparently, that's how Girl Scout cookies got around the trans fat problem this year.

Interesting stuff!

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