NUTRITION&FOOD Published November15, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Eating Burnt Toasts May Increase Risk of Cancer, Says European Watchdog

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This may not be a good way to start the morning.

According to a European consumer watchdog, burnt toasts may increase your risk of cancer through the possible high level of a carcinogen.

 

The latest findings of Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveals food that is subjected to high levels of temperature (more than 120 degrees Celsius) such as bread can contain a significant amount of acrylamide, a carcinogen, when toasted. The test was performed on samples of breads and potatoes obtained from over 45 households.

The amount of acrylamide, which is a genotoxic substance that can interact with the body's DNA that can lead to mutation of certain genes, present in the food depends on the color of the food after it's been cooked, grilled, and roasted. For example, when it comes to bread, those that have been crisped and burned to perfection have the highest level, which means a way to protect yourself from potential cancer risk is to toast it to its lightest color possible. The same advice is provided by the FSA to those who like to roast potatoes.   

The length of time of cooking or toasting can also contribute to the amount of acrylamide present. Based on the studies conducted, breads that are toasted the shortest and have the palest shade contain only 9 micrograms per kilogram of the carcinogen. However, it jumped to more than 15 times more among the crispiest bunch.

Although the FSA's study doesn't have to mean you should stop eating toasts, it warns the public to keep the color to the lightest shade and the length and temperature to the minimum. It also recommends following the instructions for toasting that often come with the package and to eat a healthy and balanced diet. FSA didn't issue any guidelines on the acceptable levels of acrylamide.

 

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