Acrylamides are Bad News

For a while there was worldwide alarm in the scientific community after researchers announced that many of the foods we eat contain a potent cancer-causing compound called acrylamide. Acrylamide causes genetic mutation, leading to a wide range of cancers in lab animals, including breast cancer and uterine cancer.

Acrylamide forms in foods that are fried, baked, roasted, grilled, or barbequed, but not in those that are steamed, or boiled. The safest way to cook foods is steaming.

Frying and overcooking leads to the highest levels of acrylamide, the highest of which are found in fried chips, such as potato chips and French fries. Acrylamide is one of the most potent cancer-causing agents. It is found in highest amounts in carbohydrates cooked at high temperatures. European governments permit 10 parts per million (ppb) of acrylamide in packaged foods, but U.S. standards are more lax. For example, Kellogg’s Rice Crispies contain 110 ppb and Pringles original crisps contain 1,480 ppb. Sugar-coated breakfast cereals have even higher levels than Rice Crispies.

Much has been said and written about whether authorities should attribute thousands or millions of deaths to acrylamide consumption. However, this argument is almost irrelevant because toxic agents, nutritional excesses, and nutritional deficiencies act in concert to establish a cellular environment favorable for cancer development. Acylamide is not the only toxic substance we come in contact with. So, when we add it to all the others, the combination becomes a serious problem contributing to our nation’s dismal cancer statistics.

For years I have been advising my patients to avoid highly processed breakfast cereals, refined foods, and oils. Hopefully, science will catch up with this simple, common-sense recommendation.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Curious - August 29, 2007 9:10 AM

Can you post some examples of cereals that are not processed or processed less? What should we look for in ingredients when buying cereal?

row - August 29, 2007 3:34 PM

I don't think there are any good examples. Cooking, baking, roasting at high temperatures is the problem.
The only safe cereal is one that is cooked in water such as oatmeal.

Kathy P - August 29, 2007 6:03 PM

I was wondering if this applies to grilled vegetables? I thought I saw a recent post that suggested that vegetables do not form acyrlamides when grilled.

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