When our grandparents were young, the grocery stores must have looked very different. Back then, nobody was concerned about cancer, and the food was healthier and purer than what we find on the market today.

In our ever-changing, modern world, it is a huge challenge to eat healthy foods all the time. Processed and fast foods are dominating the shelves and what we believe to be the healthy fruit and vegetable aisle is contaminated with harmful chemicals too.

Today, it seems like almost every available food item has been linked to cancer, making it very hard to determine what to stay away from. While you think you may be doing the right thing when opting for fat-free or sugar-free products, you are actually eating some of the worst cancer-causing foods out there.

Occasionally indulging yourself with foods that have a little extra fat or sugar probably won't give you cancer. However, below you'll find ten super unhealthy, carcinogen food ingredients that you should be sure to avoid in particular.

1. Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is a cancer-causing preservative found in most processed meats such as bacon, sausages, sandwich meat, hot dogs, and ham. It has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. To be sure sodium nitrite does not end up in your system, be sure to opt for nitrite-free, uncured meat products from organic, grass-fed sources.

2. Aspartame

Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, provide zero nutritional value and deplete your body from the nutrients of other foods. When our body processes aspartame in the digestive tract, harmful by-products are created which are associated with the formation of brain tumors.

3. Hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenated oils, such as soybean oil, canola oil, and corn oil, are chemically extracted and modified to improve their smell, consistency, and taste. They are high in unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids and are known to cause heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes.

4. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Next to refined sugars, HFCS is one of the biggest cancer-causing food ingredient out there. It promotes diabetes and obesity, which both increase the risk of several types of cancer. HFSC and refined sugars cause significant insulin spikes and feed the growth of cancer cells.

5. Genetically modified foods (GMOs)

Over the recent years, GMOs have invaded our food supply. These foods have never been tested long-term before entering the market and are now found to cause many life-threatening diseases, cancer included. Apart from the sick-making mixed-up genes they are also heavily spread with cancer-causing toxins.

6. Glyphosate

Glyphosate-containing herbicides are sold and promoted by Monsanto for usage with its GM crops. However, glyphosate is also sprayed on non-GMO or conventionally grown crops such as wheat, oats, and barley.

In March 2016, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer published a study classifying glyphosate, along with insecticides malathion and diazinon, as "probably carcinogenic to humans". Many researchers, however, note that it is not a "probable" carcinogen, but more likely a proven carcinogen.

7. Acesulfame K

Just like aspartame, acesulfame K is a modified sweetener known to mess up your nervous system, wreak havoc on the digestive system, and it has been linked to cancer, too.

8. Artificial colors

Artificial colorings are often made from petroleum byproducts and do not add any nutritional benefit. http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf">A study published by the Center for Science reported on the toxicity of nine synthetic dyes commonly used in food and beverages. They found that the colorings contributed to allergies and hyperactivity in children, while increasing cancer risks.

9. Chemical preservatives

Chemical preservatives such as nitrates, nitrites, and benzoates are added to processed and fast foods to prolong shelf life. These highly toxic chemicals tend to accumulate in the body and eventually cause damage to cells and tissues, which can lead to several types of cancer.

10. Hexane-extracted soy protein

Non-organic soy protein is often extracted with hexane, which is a neurotoxic and explosive byproduct of gasoline refinement.

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