More bad news from the FDA in the US. Turns out frying, baking or roasting certain foods causes the formation of acrylamide, a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke. Why does death always have to taste so good?
The pesky thing here is, acrylamide formation is pretty much unavoidable during these types of high temperature cooking. It turns out, the sugars and amino acids found in most plant based foods combine to form acrylamide under high heat. Vegetarians and vegans don't get a pass on this one, the FDA says acrylamides form less (or not at all) in dairy, meat, and fish products. Organic produce is no better either: the offending compound springs from naturally occurring precursors found in plants, not from fertilisers or pesticides.
Okay, don't panic just yet. While the FDA just released industry guidelines pertaining to acrylamides in food, they've been tracking this since the compound was discovered in 2002. As of right now, the FDA's recommendations are no different from what you'd want to do to stay healthy anyway:
Should I stop eating foods that are fried, roasted, or baked? No. FDA's best advice for acrylamide and eating is that consumers adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), that emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free or low fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
If you're truly concerned about limiting your acrylamide intake, read the FDA's consumer Q &A page right here. It'll probably set you at ease. Still, all I want to do after hearing this is eat my feelings ... which just makes this bad news worse. [FDA via WSJ]
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Shcherbakov Ilya