Acrylamide: An unwelcome part of your diet - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Acrylamide: An unwelcome part of your diet

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com © iStockphoto.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing your consumption of certain types of fried foods can help lower the amount of a possible cancer-causing chemical in your diet, according to U.S. health officials.

Acrylamide can form in some foods -- including potatoes, cereals, crackers or breads, dried fruits and coffee -- during high-temperature cooking processes such as frying and baking. Acrylamide is found in 40 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

High levels of acrylamide have been found to cause cancer in animals, which makes scientists believe that the chemical is likely to cause cancer in people as well, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

"Generally speaking, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures," FDA chemist Lauren Robin said in an agency news release. She added that boiling and steaming foods do not typically cause acrylamide to form.

Because it's so common in foods, it isn't feasible to eliminate acrylamide from your diet. However, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of acrylamide consumed by you and your family, Robin said.

She offered the following tips:

- When frying frozen french fries, follow the manufacturer's recommendations on time and temperature and avoid overcooking, heavy crisping or browning.

- Toast bread to a light brown color rather than a dark brown color. Do not eat very brown areas.

- Cook cut potato products such as frozen french fries to a golden yellow color rather than a brown color. Brown areas tend to contain more acrylamide.

- Don't store potatoes in the refrigerator, because this can increase acrylamide levels during cooking. Keep potatoes outside the refrigerator in a dark, cool place, such as a closet or a pantry.

Acrylamide has probably been around as long as people have been baking, roasting, toasting or frying foods. But it was only in the last 10 years that scientists first discovered the chemical in food, according to the FDA.

Since then, the agency has been investigating the effects of acrylamide as well as potential measures to reduce it.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about acrylamide in food.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Health WatchMore>>

  • House approves VA health care overhaul

    House approves VA health care overhaul

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:40 GMT
    With a new Veterans Affairs secretary in place and an August recess looming, Congress is moving quickly to approve a compromise bill to refurbish the VA and improve veterans' health care.
    The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care that have plagued the Veterans Affairs Department for years.
  • $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice

    $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:58:45 GMT
    A $1,000-per-pill drug that insurers are reluctant to pay for has quickly become the treatment of choice for a liver-wasting viral disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.
    The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million.
  • Deportations halted at New Mexico processing center

    Deportations halted at New Mexico processing center

    Deportations halted at New Mexico processing center

    Artesia, NM - Officials at an immigration processing center in new mexico announced they will be halting all deportations for the time being.
    Artesia, NM - Officials at an immigration processing center in new mexico announced they will be halting all deportations for the time being.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.