Highly Processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

I think that it is safe to say that whether we eat them or not, we all know the importance and the benefits that come from eating real, whole, minimally processed foods rather than heavily processed foods. While processed foods can be incredibly convenient and sometimes pretty tasty, they come along with quite a few health risks, one of which is an increased risk of developing cancer.

A study was done that looked at the eating habits and the health of 197,426 people. Specifically, they looked at what percentage of each individual’s diet was comprised of highly processed foods as well as their overall health throughout the study. The study found that the risk of death from any type of cancer rose 6% with each additional 10% of highly processed foods consumed and the risk of death from ovarian cancer rose by 30% for each additional 10% of consumption.

This is just another downside to eating highly processed foods to add to all of the others that exist, such as the lack of nutritional value, high-calorie density, extra additives, and more. Foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh meats are so much better for us than processed foods such as hot dogs, microwave dinners, and store-bought white bread to name a few.

Luckily, it is easy to get fresh, nutritious, whole foods here in Arizona! Arizona agriculture grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products! Check out the Fill Your Plate website to learn more about what is in season and where to find these products!

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