February 28, 2024

Amarachi Okeh

A diet expert, Mrs. Yemisi Solanke-Lawal, has said there is no truth in the claim that eating burnt food can increase the risk of cancer.

Speaking with Reportr Door HealthWise, Solanke-Lawal, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Health and Social Care International, said a lot of people had believed the myth about the connection between burnt food and cancer.

The nutritionist, however, said there has been evidence that cancer could be triggered by exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, smoking, eating processed meat, and obesity.

She said, “there is no conclusive evidence that consuming burnt food can cause cancer in humans according to Cancer Research UK. It is still a myth that eating foods high in acrylamides, a chemical found in burnt foods like roasted corn, roast yam, or brown ‘ponmo’ will increase your risk of cancer.

“This is because studies are not able to accurately measure the amount of acrylamide in people’s diet.”

According to Cancer Research, UK, acrylamide is a chemical that’s found in starchy foods like bread and potatoes, if they’re cooked at high temperatures for a long time.

Acrylamide is also present in baking, barbequing, frying, grilling, toasting, or roasting and can also find in other foods such as biscuits and coffee.

Also, according to a recent article published on the official site of the University of Birmingham, there has been no conclusive evidence that eating any sort of burnt food can increase the risk of getting cancer.

The article explained that acrylamide is a type of molecule that is formed when food is cooked at high temperatures. Although the chemical is a known potential toxin and carcinogen in its industrial form, the link between consuming it in food and developing cancer is much less clear.

Tracing the origin of the knowledge of the potential danger of acrylamide, the article titled Does burnt food give you cancer? said the origin of the knowledge of acrylamide’s potential dangers was traced down to a railway tunnel in Sweden.

It noted that several years ago, railway workers building a tunnel in southern Sweden suddenly noticed that the cows nearby began to show strange symptoms, staggering around and in some cases collapsing and dying.

This prompted an investigation that showed that the cows had been drinking contaminated stream water and that the contamination was from a toxic molecule, acrylamide.

The workers were then tested to see if they also had unsafe levels of acrylamide in their blood, with a second control group of people who had no known exposure to industrial acrylamide used as a benchmark. But it turned out that the control group also had surprisingly high amounts of acrylamide in their blood.

It was established that “acrylamide formation was associated with carbohydrate-rich foods, rather than protein-rich ones, and with foods that had been heated above 120°C (250°F), that is food that has been fried, roasted or baked.

This was a new discovery, but acrylamide must always have been formed in this style of cooking, ever since cooking was invented”

Cancer Research UK reiterated that eating foods high in acrylamide, like toast, charred root vegetables, or roast potatoes will not increase the risk of cancer, adding that it can also be found in starchy food that’s been cooked at high temperatures.

Speaking further with Reportr Door HealthWise, Solanke-Lawal stressed that what is more important is eating a healthy and balanced meal while avoiding processed meat like burger meat and corned beef and avoiding high sugar and high salty diets.

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