Is Burnt Food A Health Risk?

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Is Burnt Food A Health Risk?

burnt food

A bit of burnt or charred food may be linked to increased risk of kidney, endometrial and ovarian cancer and the culprit is increase in levels of acrylamide.

It is listed on WHO as one of the factors for human health risk. It is said to be a probable carcinogen as per The International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Acrylamide and Cancer

Hard evidence is still far from proving a clear relation between acrylamide and cancer that too from a burnt toast, charred potatoes or burnt chips.

As per studies acrylamide as a carcinogen on humans have rendered mixed results:

  • 32 studies conducted came to a conclusion that dietary acrylamide does not fall under high risk for common cancer types.
  • Another study on larger group came out with similar result that concludes no such association between the two.

What can be done?

 As per Nutritionist Ania Mason:

  • Starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and grains cooked on high temperature contain certain amounts of acrylamide, mindful food consumption is essential and choose other options.
  • Slow cooked food is better for consumption, different colored vegetables in casseroles, stews and slow cooked soups are healthier options comparatively.

There are several traditional methods of cooking that can trigger Acrylamide formation, including baking, barbequing, frying, grilling, toasting or roasting.

As per a study published in the digital portal of Cancer Research UK, charring of starchy foods may increase the risk of cancer even though these cooking methods use less oil.

According to the report, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done to determine if Acrylamide alone is causing cancer and if other things in a day-to-day diet can also contribute to cancer development.

Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the cooking methods used and to reduce the amount of charring of starchy foods. Eating a balanced diet and limiting the consumption of fried and processed foods is also recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle!

Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new diet, nutritional or fitness program. The publisher or its management do not claim responsibility of this information.