Acrylamides Facts - Ways To Avoid Cancer Causing
Chemicals In Foods
discovery of carcinogenic acrylamides in our foods, by Swedish scientists
in 2002, made global news and personally made me a little depressed
at the time. It seemed that no matter how committed I was to good
healthy nutrition, new research always seemed to throw a curve ball.
On the back of the Swedish scientists discoveries, various publications
circulated tales of cancer-causing food; basically any food that
had been grilled, baked or fried. I began mentally striking off
offending foods from my list and preparing myself to a lifetime
of boiled food. I might say it was not an appealing thought that
I would have to deny myself a sweet date and walnut loaf.
However, as a certified nutritionist, it is always in my professional,
as well as personal interests to keep my eye on new developments.
Taking a closer look into research and publications into the subject,
I was slightly relieved by some of my findings. The threat of cancer-causing
acrylamides is real; however it is one that can be greatly reduced.
Acrylamides are cancer-causing chemicals which are created when
foods are grilled, fried, baked or roasted at high temperatures;
exceeding 120 degrees Celsius (248 degree Fahrenheit). Amino acids
in starchy foods are particularly singled out and are thought to
change into acrylamide under these high temperature cooking methods,
however by boiling or steaming, the presence of acrylamides are
far less in food. Acrylamide is certainly a chemical you do not
want present in your body when you realize that it is used to make
polyacrylamide materials - glues, paper and cosmetics. Polyacrylamide
materials contain very small, safe levels of acrylamide. However,
acrylamide is also one of the many carcinogenic ingredients contained
Acrylamide Levels in Certain Foods:
- Potato chips - 546 micrograms/kg
- French fries - 698 micrograms/kg
- Breakfast cereal - 131 micrograms/kg
So How Do You Avoid This Carcinogenic Danger?
First, if you are committed to a weight loss program and healthy
choices then you should be avoiding potato chips and french fries
anyway. However, you might be tempted to the odd cookout, which
is sure to present some charred meat or sausages which equals high
acrylamide levels! In reality, even some healthy options such as
cereal and multi-grain bread carry high acrylamide amounts and you
may find there are certain foods you just don't want to give up.
The solution is at hand if you have been following up on the benefits
of antioxidants. Tea polyphenols, resveratrol (grape skin and red
wine), and diallyl trisulfide, a substance found in garlic, have
been found to reduce or reverse the damage that acrylamides can
do to our bodies.
Of course other antioxidants might also aid the risks associated
with acrylamides, but the tea polyphenols, resveratrol and diallyl
trisulfide has been pointed out as potentially effective. I have
been much relieved at some of these revelations seeing as I include
garlic, grape and tea polyphenols in my daily nutrition. I eat half
a raw garlic clove daily as it provides antioxidants, boosts my
immunity and aids a healthy heart; and tea polyphenols and resveratrol
fight off the aging free radicals. So, if you are not including
these powerful antioxidants into your nutrition, you now have another
reason to. Also, just by introducing garlic cloves into your meals,
you can enjoy similar benefits to those of eating half a clove raw!