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Can eating burnt toast cause cancer?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

After the WHO announcement that processed meat increases the risk of cancer comes another warning that may put us on alert; the World Health Organization warns that it could be that when cooking some products such as toast or French fries, it is believed a chemical element that increases the risk of cancer.

But before getting alarmed, it is essential to know what it is about, what risks there are, and to what extent it is necessary to be alert. Can eat burnt toast cause cancer? In the following FastlyHealarticle we will discover it for you.

Does eating burnt bread cause cancer?

All the hype about toast, potatoes, and other types of cooked products is caused by the presence of acrylamide during the cooking process. First of all, it must be made clear that, at the moment, it has not been 100% proven that acrylamide can cause cancer in humans. Although suspicions may be founded, there is no scientific evidence that burned foods cause cancer in humans.

On the contrary, its incidence has been demonstrated in animals such as mice, so right now, different teams of scientists are investigating to give a clear answer on the impact that acrylamide can have on humans.

Acrylamide, suspected of causing cancer

What is acrylamide

Before continuing with the health recommendations, it is essential to know what acrylamide is and how it is produced. Acrylamide is a chemical element that appears naturally during the cooking process at high temperatures in some products, especially those with starch. When the cooking of bread, cereals, coffee, or potatoes exceeds 120ºC, acrylamide is produced, the compound that gives burnt food that brown or black tone.

This substance, discovered in 2002, has been the subject of study by different scientific groups that have shown that it can cause cancer in animals through research in rodents. It has not been possible to verify that it has the same effect on humans. Still, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an organism belonging to the World Health Organization, has classified it as “probable carcinogenic.” Thus, although there is no conclusive evidence, it could have harmful effects on human health.

No need to be alarmed

Although the toxicity of acrylamide is finally proven, many scientists doubt that it can be a danger to public health because for it to be hazardous to health, we should eat a large amount of this compound.

On the other hand, there are more activities apart from eating toast that introduces acrylamide into our body. While we smoke, we ingest 3 to 4 times more of this element.

But taking into account that the majority of the population is unaware of even the existence of acrylamide, the WHO has wanted to highlight its existence so that the agri-food industry takes measures to reduce its quantities and so that people are aware of this fact.

Recommendations when cooking food

It is worth noting that acrylamide – present in cereals, potatoes, or toast – has not been proven to cause cancer; however, it is not entirely sure whether these foods can cause cancer does not mean that we should be careful. Prevention is always better than cure, for example, by following a series of recommendations that will not affect our day-to-day lives and that can be very useful if acrylamide is shown to be carcinogenic over time:

  • Avoid making them brown or black; the darker, the more acrylamide they contain.
  • Acrylamide appears from 120 degrees, so it is recommended to avoid cooking at high temperatures for a long time.
  • Acrylamide is not produced if the products are boiled.
  • If you cook fries up to yellow, avoid turning brown or black.
  • Do not keep the potatoes in the freezer, as when freezing, the number of sugar increases, subsequently increasing the acrylamide produced.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can eating burnt toast cause cancer? We recommend that you enter our Food category .

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