Cancer. Its very mention is enough to invoke chills. With higher and higher percentages of Americans falling victim to this prevalent killer, those who are not yet stricken are naturally afraid that malady and death are a mere diagnosis away. Sadly, what many people realize but do little to nothing to address is the simple fact that many cancers are highly preventable, and our national dietary habits are actually welcoming this disease into our lives with open arms.
While it is true that a healthy diet and exercise do not guarantee that one will remain cancer-free, Americans knowingly ingest carcinogens on a daily basis. Toxic compounds such as aspartame (an artificial sweetener) and acrylamides (the by-products of deep frying) have been intensively studied and found to significantly increase the chances of breeding a variety of cancers. Yet, sweeteners containing aspartame can be found in every restaurant and grocery store in America, and its sales numbers are still strong despite the mounting research exhibiting its dangers.
Similarly, America’s love for deep fried foods keeps Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s at the top of the list of popular franchises. A bag of chicken nuggets or french fries remains a common treat that parents provide for their children as a reward for good behavior or a winning baseball game. Although most people know that these and similar food additives are severely unhealthy, many of us willingly close our eyes to the threat, and continue to enjoy these deadly treats.
Statistics from 2010 show that 202 men and 137 women out of every 100,000 will die of cancer. In the same year, the United States spent 125 billion dollars on cancer treatments to increase the odds of survival for those afflicted. However, if our nation directed a tiny fraction of this cost to cancer prevention education, the hugely expensive cancer treatment cost may be significantly reduced.
Most of us know that a diet full of fruits and vegetables along with regular exercise is more effective in preventing disease than sitting on the couch watching TV and eating fried chicken, yet the unhealthy patterns continue. It is sad to imagine how many more lives will be affected or ended by cancers that may likely be brought on by ingestion of aspartame, acrylamides and similar compounds found in our ‘comfort foods.’
Obviously, avoiding these poisons and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may not keep cancer away, but the positive lifestyle change may just give us a fighting chance. It is time we as a society opened our eyes and, at the very least, stopped willingly introducing carcinogens into our bodies while blindly hoping that cancer never knocks on the door.
We know being a health conscious individual can be difficult at times, but tell us how you have been successful at moving forward in a healthy lifestyle.
– The Alternative Daily