Are all foods linked to cancer?

If it ever seems like everything you eat is associated with cancer, there’s a reason for that.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined 50 common ingredient from recipes in a cookbook (the “Boston Cooking School Cook Book”) and found that 40 of those 50 common ingredients had been the subject of articles that reported an associated cancer risk — sometimes an increased risk and sometimes a decreased risk.

However, the results of those associations, for the most part, are statistically weak, the study’s authors wrote. In other words, don’t obsess about any given headline about any given study.

“Associations with cancer risk or benefits have been claimed for most food ingredients,” the study concludes. “Many single studies highlight implausibly large effects, even though evidence is weak.”

— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin