Research

Food cooked at high temperature may cause cancer

Recent research studies link heavily cooked food with an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers. According to these studies, food cooked at a high temperature are likely to cause breast and prostate cancer among people.

When raw foods are heated beyond 300 degrees Fahrenheit, they undergo chemical changes. These chemical mutations damage cells and alter proteins in the body once the food is ingested. High-temperature cooking usually includes frying, grilling, and roasting, etc. Foods undergoing such processes damage genes and threaten health by exposing the body to toxic chemicals like mutagens and advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

Mutagens damage DNA and increase the risk of serious diseases e.g. heart disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. On the other hand, AGEs are toxins that damage proteins, leading to loss of functionality and tissue damage. They foster serious health conditions due to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Moreover, they trigger weight gain and premature aging.

AGEs destroy critical molecules in your body including,

  • Antibodies
  • Collagen
  • Enzymes
  • Hemoglobin
  • Hormones
  • Neurotransmitters

The complete elimination of AGEs from the body is nearly impossible. However, the chosen cooking method determines how much these toxins get to enter the body. Furthermore, high-temperature or heavy cooking also triggers the formation of heterocyclic amines. These gene-mutating chemical compounds are linked to cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, lung, liver, and prostate.

Research backed evidences linking heavy cooking and cancer

A research team at the University of Minnesota found that women eating overcooked hamburgers had elevated the risk of breast cancer by more than 50 percent compared to those who chose rare or medium-done burgers. Similarly, the Iowa Women’s Health Study reveals that women who consistently chose well-done steak, hamburgers, and bacon had a 4.62-fold greater risk of breast cancer over women who consumed rare or medium-done meats.

Talking about men, recent studies state that those having even just 1.5 servings or more of processed meat every week had increased risk of advanced prostate cancer by 50 percent. Likewise, the same is true for men consuming one or more servings of grilled red meat or well-done red meat.

It is generally observed that men tend to eat heavily cooked food almost daily. Thus, it is no surprise that they suffer from prostate cancer in epidemic numbers as they age.

How can one prevent cancer and other diseases?

Toxins like AGEs and heterocyclic amines are impossible to be eliminated from a living system completely. This is because they are natural byproducts of the enzymatic activities in our body.

Heavily cooked meat like grilled fish can contain a significant amount of heterocyclic amines, even though they are considered healthy choices. Moreover, animal-based foods high in fat and protein generally contain AGEs. In addition, they often stimulate new AGE formation during high-temperature cooking. On the other hand, foods rich in carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and milk are relatively lower reserves of AGEs, even after cooking.

It is absolutely possible for one to prevent cancer and other health hazard conditions. All you need to do is reduce the number of simple sugars and starches and avoid exposure to overcooked foods. In this way, you can prevent the toxins from damaging your system.

There are certain supplements that are believed to serve as powerful anti-glycation agents. These may include carnosine, benfotiamine, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate. These supplements can be useful as a complementary tool since even healthy foods, and the avoidance of high-heat cooked meals doesn’t assure your system will stay void of toxic AGEs.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan has studied bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise includes product reviews and health news reporting but she enjoys writing research-based news, the most. Twitter- @MichelleKwan19

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