Food lovers may have to doublecheck what's in their diet immediately.
Some of the most popular food choices easily available to the American population are proving to be a health hazard. Chemicals called process contaminants may end up unintentionally in food after it goes through changes during food processing. These, in turn, produce negative effects on our system.
Here are five of the most popular food choices that undergo food processing and are believed to cause cancer:
Nutella Chocolate Spread
The European Food Safety Authority reports that palm oil — a key ingredient in the Nutella chocolate spread — may be a carcinogen when cooked at high temperatures of about 200 degrees Celsius.
"Glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups," the EFSA said as early as May 2016.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links an ingredient in microwave popcorn, called diacetyl, to an obstructive lung disease known as "popcorn lung."
Diacetyl gives microwave popcorn that buttery taste and is not generally harmful until it is in vaporized form, in which case the chemical turns toxic.
Microwave popcorn also comes in special bags containing perfluoroalkyls, perfluorooctanoic acid, and perfluorooctane sulfonate. These chemicals are deemed "likely carcinogenic" by the Environmental Protection Agency since they are believed to cause thyroid issues and bladder cancers.
Hotdogs, Bacon And Processed Meats
Hotdogs and bacon, along with other processed meat products, have also been associated with health risks. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled these meat products as carcinogen.
In the IARC report, these popular meat products, which undergo food processing, were found to contain "theoretical hazards." Red meat in particular is identified as a carcinogen, and high consumption of red meat is linked to colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer to a certain degree.
The presence of the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in most food cans, used even by popular food retailers, is also a growing concern in the country. BPA is a chemical that can seep into food and beverage, and is linked to endocrine (hormone) disruption; hyperactivity and low prosocial behavior in children; and breast and prostate cancers.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute last year confirmed possible health risks associated with the intake of sweetened beverages. Drinks with a high concentration of glucose were positively associated with weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
The research also reveals that increased consumption of artificially sweetened drinks may also increase risks of biliary tract cancer, particularly gallbladder cancer.
Additional information on process contaminants is provided by the EFSA. Watch the video below: