Cancer-Causing Food List Is Growing; Burnt Toast And Deep-Fried Potatoes Are The Newest Members

First Posted: Jan 30, 2017 03:50 AM EST

Starchy food items, potato in particular, are known to be associated with obesity as well as induction of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. However, latest research studies, done at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, suggest that they may also be associated with the occurrence of cancer.

Burning of starch component leads to the formation of acrylamide, which is known for its carcinogenic activities. Acrylamide is a harmful chemical compound, but its exact role in the formation of cancerous cells inside the human body is ambiguous. Though animal studies indicate a possible correlation, the concentration of acrylamide at which the rat models developed cancer was way above the physiological concentration of the chemical in the human body.

As per Cancer Research UK, acrylamide directly interacts with DNA and mutates it to cause cancer. Though it may seem logical, firm evidence backing this hypothesis is absent, the scientists of The American Cancer Society said.

However, the society does accept the fact that food items like fried potatoes and burnt toast "are full of needless calories and obesity is the second leading cause of preventable cancer in the US, just behind tobacco."

Considering the fact, most people love to snack on them every other day -- the notion of French fries being associated with cancer is dreadful. When the research study was published, people across the world started inquiring about it. The Food Standard Agency (FSA), U.K., tried to retaliate the fear among the common people and started with the "Go for Gold" campaign, which teaches people to follow healthy cooking practices and restrict the chances of exposure to acrylamide.

FSA recommends "As a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread."

Health Canada, in association with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, reviewed the data regarding acrylamide exposure among Canadians and "found no consistent increase or decrease in acrylamide concentrations over the last five year in foods."

However, the exact physiological response of cancer-causing foods like burnt toast and roasted potatoes is unclear. The news itself is enough to create fear among common people. It is highly probable that people will think twice before they order another plate of French fries.

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