According to research, foods – particularly fried potatoes – cooked at high temperatures significantly increase cancer risk. Because of this, a public warning over the risks of this food was issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), a government body in the U.K.
A chemical compound called acrylamide is formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures or over 120 degrees Celsius. Acrylamide triggers cancer cell growth. Fried foods, especially fried potatoes, contain the highest amounts of it.
Other foods which also contain acrylamide are cookies, packed crackers, toasted nuts, canned black olives, dry cereals, peanut butter, roasted cocoa beans, and prune juice. Moreover, it can also be found in bread crusts and many foods that are roasted, such as nuts.
Acrylamide arises in certain proteins, carbohydrates, and starchy foods that are cooked or processed at a high or prolonged heat. It is formed when simple sugars, such as glucose, exposed to intense heat react with the amino acid asparagine.
Plus, studies in rats showed that exposure to high levels of acrylamide can lead to neurological damage.
How To Reduce Acrylamide Consumption
Raw potatoes should not be kept in the fridge. Overall levels of acrylamide increase when you place potatoes in the fridge. Instead, store it in a dark, cool place with temperatures over 6C. Additionally, you must avoid storing raw potatoes for a long period because more acrylamide can form.
Aim for a golden yellow color or lighten when frying, baking, roasting or toasting starchy foods. Moreover, by properly following the cooking instructions on the packaging, people can ensure that the foods are not cooked for too long or at extreme temperatures
Rather than eating fries, you may eat chunky chip on occasion. Furthermore, cutting potatoes into larger wedges decreases their surface area, thus reducing the level of acrylamide that can form. Adhere to a varied, balanced diet for you to reduce your overall risk for cancer.
Ditch French Fries As It Increases Early Death Risk
Eating fried potatoes does not only increase your cancer risk but also increase your risk of early death. A study published in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people could increase their risk of premature death by two times if they eat fried potatoes two or more times each week.
The data of 4,440 adults who participated in the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort study was analyzed by the researchers in Italy. At the beginning of the study, the participants were between the ages of 45 and 79, and they were followed up for an average of eight years. As part of the OAI study, they were instructed to accomplish a food frequency questionnaire. Researchers used these data to measure the participant’s total weekly potato intake and weekly consumption of fried and unfried potatoes.
A total of 236 participants died during the follow-up period. The overall potato consumption did not affect their death risk. However, consumption of two to three portions of fried potatoes like French fries, potato chips, or hash browns every week doubled their risk of early death. The risk further increases when you eat more than three potions of the fried potatoes.