Beware of Overcooked, Fried and Burnt Foods

overcooked food

You must have found out the importance of including carbs in our diet and also how important it is to choose good carbs for yourself. But, even good carb can prove to be the slow poison if not cooked perfectly?

over cooked grilled chicken

In this clause, we will talk about the importance of cooking your food and how overcooked, fried and burnt carbs affect your health and increase the risk of cancer.

Benefits of cooking food

Cooking food concentrates its flavor and taste. It kills many harmful bacteria and minimizes the chances of food spoilage. Cooking breaks the starch making it easy to digest and softens hard food making them easy to chew. Heat processing denatures protein molecules. Also, cooking increases the amount of energy food provides our body.

woman cooking food

As you can see cooking has so many benefits but overcooking or deep frying is not a boon but curse.

Let us acknowledge why our health experts warn us from eating potato chips, french fries, burnt toast and deep fried vegetables.

Health risk related to fried, overcooked and burnt foods

resistant starch food

According to FDA (Food Standard Agency) When starchy food is cooked for an extended period at high temperature (above 120-degree Celsius) it produces a carcinogenic compound known as acrylamide. This harmful cancer-causing compound is formed as a result of the chemical reaction that takes place between amino acid asparagine and certain sugars present in carb-rich food.

Intake of acrylamide is associated with ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, oesophageal cancer, kidney cancer and lung cancer. This toxic compound is also toxic to the nervous system and may cause neurological degenerative diseases.

Most acrylamide is present in cereal-based baby foods, boxed breakfast cereals such as cornflakes, potato wafers, chips, crackers, biscuits, pizza base, crisps, and over-cooked or fried root vegetables such as sweet potato, potato, parsnips, beetroot, and swede. The most significant percentage of acrylamide is present in french fries.

french fries

Not just acrylamide but fried food also contains break down chemical structures known as aldehydes that are generated when vegetable oils are heated to frying temperatures. Aldehyde has been identified to possess health degrading nature and is known to cause cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

One more reason to avoid overcooked or fried foods is that in such foods normal stable fats are converted into trans-fat that increase the risk of cardiac diseases.

burnt toast

Now let’s talk about burnt toast and health risks it carries. Burnt toast also contains acrylamide. However, the percentage of this cancerous compound is less in a burnt toast as compared to fried potatoes and chips. Among other types of bread white bread has more acrylamide. Other harmful compounds present in small amount in burnt toast is PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). PAHS are carcinogens and AGEs negatively affect our cells, body tissues and vital organs and increases the risk of cardia, kidney, and nervous system diseases. Also, it increases the chances of diabetes.

After leading through this article, we hope from next time you will better avoid overcooked food and fried carbs. In the shell, you burn your toast better dump it into the bin instead of dumping in your belly.

Below are few tips to reduce acrylamide exposure due to Overcooked Food

  1. Cook the food for shortest period possible and keep the cooking temperature as low as possible

2. You may follow the golden rule to restrict the formation of acrylamide while cooking ‘cook food only until it is yellow and not black or brown.

3. Blanching before frying reduces chances of acrylamide formation.

4. Boiled and steamed food is the safest option. You may saute food for taste.

boiled food

5. Avoid storing potatoes in the refrigerator. Better store them outside in cool and dark place.

6. Fish products, low starch vegetables, fruits, and dairy are less likely to contain the harmful carcinogen. Eat whole and organic food and minimize the consumption of processed foods.

organic food

7. Toast bread only to a golden brown. Better consume multigrain bread rather than white bread.

8. Instead of light roast coffee bean select dark roast bean. Remember Acrylamide is not formed when coffee is brewed, but when the beans are roasted.

9. Avoid grilled toast or burger.

grilled sandwich

Eat varied as well as balanced diet and stay healthy.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta

Professionally homeopathic physician and dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in a holistic approach to well-being and health.