French Fries

Acrylamide: Are You Sure You Want Fries With That?

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There are many risky ingredients and chemicals in processed food that can increase your risk of cancer. Did you also know that the way YOU cook or process your food can also have a similar effect?

Keep reading below to get the low down on HPV and how acrylamide may affect your cancer risk!

What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is an industrial chemical that can be found in dyes, paper, plastics, and can even be used in treating water sewage. These are commonly seen in products we buy, in the packaging, and adhesives used.

Oh, and by the way, this chemical is also present in tobacco smoke.

How does this apply?

This toxic chemical can form in some foods when using high-temperature cooking methods, such as deep frying, pan frying, roasting, or baking.

This comes from a combination of sugars and an amino acid called aspargine that are presently found in food. These two components separately do not have a bad effect on your health, but during high-temperature cooking, they combine and can cause some pretty negative side effects on your health.

The exact temperature at which acrylamide forms in food has yet to be determined, but it has so far not been found in food prepared at temperatures below 120 degrees Celsius (248 Fahrenheit).

Why Should I Avoid Fried Food?

Acrylamide is yet another reason to avoid fried and processed foods since certain food preparation methods lead to the formation of chemicals that pose a potential health concern.

It was first detected in certain foods in April 2002 by the Swedish National Food Authority. Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally forms in certain foods, particularly starchy foods that are rich in carbohydrates and low in protein, during processing or high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking but not typically when boiling and steaming even at very high temperatures.

Those French fries you can’t help but get as the side of your burger? These are heavily contributing culprits to high levels of acrylamide. In fact, the highest concentrations of acrylamide are found in potato chips and French fries, and are followed by cigarette smoke.

Cancer Risk

The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration has identified dietary exposure to acrylamide as a potential concern.

Acrylamide is known to cause cancer in animals at high levels. Elevated doses can also be toxic to the nervous system of both animals and humans.

An 11-year study in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention found an increased risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer was associated with higher intake of acrylamide from food.

Here are other organizations’ takes on acrylamide:

While adverse effects to your brain and nervous system are unlikely at the estimated average exposure to acrylamide, changes in the actual structure and function of your nerve cannot be excluded for individuals with a high dietary exposure to acrylamide.

For a compound that is both genotoxic and carcinogenic, these MOEs indicate a health concern.

The take-home message: Avoid fried and processed foods and your body will thank you.

In addition to taking Papillex, eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and minimize the ingestion of saturated fats, and processed foods that impair immunity and contribute to inflammation in the body.

3 Tips to Decrease your Acrylamide Burden

1. Boil or steam your vegetables.

By not roasting, baking, or frying your food, this will avoid the combination of sugars and amino acids that creates acrylamide. Boiling and steaming your food, no matter what temperature, is not connected with acrylamide formation. Acrylamide does not form, or forms at lower levels in fish, meat, or dairy products.

2. Don’t overcook your vegetables.

Cooking for longer periods of time, especially at higher temperatures can cause acrylamide formation. This will also help to sustain those good fibers to contribute to a happy gut.

3. Avoid fried potato products

…like French fries or potato chips, or any other fried vegetable, especially those with breadingAcrylamide is mainly found in plant-based foods, especially potatoes and grains, and even coffee! So think twice next time you choose French fries or breaded, deep-fried onion rings next time!

Bonus Tips for the Fried Food Fiends!

*  If you find you just can’t get away from roasted, baked, or fried potato foods, soak your potato slices raw for 15 to 30 minutes before frying – make sure to dry the slices thoroughly to prevent oil fires!

*  Avoid storing potatoes in the fridge before cooking. Studies show that this may increase levels of acrylamides formed during the cooking process.

*  When frying, baking, or roasting potatoes, bread, or other vegetables, try cooking them to a lighter shade and avoid burning to decrease acrylamide production.

Want to know more about healthy eating? Check out our blog on healing HPV through food!


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