Cancer-causing materials in our kitchen
In our day-to-day lives, we use a variety of materials and utensils in our kitchen, which are not natural and can strongly cause damage to our health. Let’s know some of the commonly used materials in our kitchen that are carcinogenic or cancer-causing.
Plastics have become so common in our daily routine life that we hardly consider living without use of plastics in one or the other way. Well, this whole battle against the use of plastics started in 2009 when a viral email claimed that celebrity, Sheryl Crowe, developed breast cancer after leaving her bottle of water in the car. The email was falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins University and claimed that plastic bottles and food containers contain chemicals called dioxins, Phthalates and Bisphenol A, which are a group of chemicals used to soften plastic in food packaging and a wide range of other industrial and consumer products that can leach into food and drink, causing reproductive and developmental problems, liver damage and cancer, which led to a revolution among many to have a plastic free zone, kitchen, home or rather country.
What can you do?
a. Do not use plastic wraps or containers, which are not labelled microwave safe or rather use glass or ceramic containers
b. Do not use plastic containers not meant for food storage like cosmetic containers or chemical containers
c. Do not use store hot foods or hot water in containers not meant for it (e.g. Plastic containers for ice-cream or yogurt etc.)
d. Avoid using plastic containers having No. 7 written underneath ( No. 7 likely to contain BPA )
e. Wherever possible try to use glass, ceramic or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids.
TEFLON COATED PANS (NON-STICK COOKWARE)
PFOA (Perflourooctanoic Acid) which is used in preparation of Teflon coated pans is the culprit in causing various cancer (Testicular, Ovarian and Kidney). Although, it is burned off during the process and is not present in significant amounts in the final products it stays in the environment and blood for longer time periods. Higher levels can be found in community residents where local water supplies is contaminated by PFOA (Industrial wastes) and among people exposed to PFOA in the workplace. PFOA can be released by overheated nonstick pans and also by pans, which have lost its coating or is breached.
What can you do?
a. Try to use cast iron pans wherever possible.
b. Do not use nonstick pans if the coating is cracked or has come out.
c. Try not to overheat the pan and not to use sharp objects while working on it or cleaning.
ALUMINUM UTENSILS AND ALUMINUM FOILS
On cooking food (mainly acidic) in Aluminum utensils gets leached out and is absorbed into blood through gut mucosa causing harmful effects like Alzheimer’s disease, testicular and liver carcinomas.
What can you do?
a. Try to avoid Aluminum utensils instead use stainless steel or cast iron utensils
b. Use Parchment Paper instead of aluminum foil
c. Avoid tetra pack products or sauces sold in refill pouches or tube, canned food products instead use ones stored in glass bottles
d. Avoid using cosmetic products ( Antiperspirants, sun screen and toothpaste ) containing aluminum
e. Antacids and vaccines also contain aluminum.
f. Avoid drinking water which is being treated with ALUM
g. Various Baby foods and Infant formulas contain significant amount of aluminum and should be avoided instead make home based purees for weaning babies
In the process of making refined oil various chemicals are used (Hexane, bleach etc.), which are harmful to our body. In order to get a desirable consistency, often these vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation, which in turn leads to formation of Trans fats. These trans fats contributes to disorders such as that of the liver, diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal disease and even cancer mainly breast cancer and colon cancers.
What can you do?
a. Try to use cold pressed oils and natural seed oils viz. ground nut oil, Extra virgin Olive oil, Coconut Oil, Mustard oil
b. Use butter from raw milk grass fed cows and the second choice, which is more accessible to most of us, is organic, which is from milk of grass fed cows with NO rBGH injected into them.
c. Try to avoid re-heating left over oils again and again
d. It is better to buy oil from a local store that specializes in oils.
MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
In order to get more milk, cows and buffaloes are being injected with hormones, which, in turn, get secreted in their milk causing infertility, thyroid diseases and endocrinal diseases and should be avoided instead drink milk from grass-fed cows and dairy products which are organic.
Not everything is bad or cancer causing.
There are as such no cancer fighting foods rather there are foods which contain certain vitamin, minerals and compounds, which reduce the risk of cancer.
a. Fruits: Apple as the saying goes ( An apple a day keeps the doctor away ) contains Polyphenols and berries ( Blueberry, Strawberry etc.) containing Vitamin C, Minerals and dietary fibers help in reducing the risk of cancer
b. Cruciferous Vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kale contain Vitamin C, Manganese and Sulforaphane which reduces the risk of Colon Cancer and Breast Cancer
c. Carrots with its rich content on anti-oxidants and beta carotene are fighters against cancer
d. Walnuts with pedunculagin in them gets metabolized to Urolithins and thereby reduced cancer risk
e. Legumes with dietary fiber content and vitamins and minerals reduces the risk of cancer
Balco Medical Centre recommends that everyone should live a healthy lifestyle and keep an eye on their diet and also watch out for the carcinogenic items in their kitchen and eliminate it, or at least, reduce its usage.