A. Yes. Many people are unaware that certain cooking methods are better for their health than others.
When potatoes are cooked at high temperatures to make fries, they can form toxic compounds known as acrylamides.
If you eat meat or high-carbohydrate foods such as french fries, your method of cooking can influence their potential to produce toxic compounds. While barbecuing, consider the following before cooking meat or eating french fries.
According to the National Cancer Institute, chemicals called heterocyclic amines are created when meats such as beef, pork, fowl, and fish are cooked at high temperatures. HCAs form when proteins (amino acids) in meat react with heat.
Unfortunately, HCAs may increase your risk for cancer. The cancer institute cites studies done in the United States, Japan, and Europe showing a possible relationship between the development of certain types of cancer and how meat is prepared.
Researchers from the cancer institute found that people who ate meat well-done or medium well-done had more than three times the risk of stomach cancer than those who ate beef rare or medium rare.
The cancer institute also found that people who had high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats had an increased risk of developing breast, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers.
Cooking meat at very high temperatures forms more HCAs than cooking at lower temperatures. Frying, broiling, and barbecuing produce the largest amounts, whereas stewing, boiling, and poaching produce much lower amounts.
Baking and oven roasting are done at lower temperatures, but keep in mind that high amounts of HCAs are found in meat drippings used for gravy. You should also be aware that meats cooked for long periods of time form more HCAs.
The good news is that other sources of protein — such as soy, eggs, and milk products — produce very few, if any, HCAs when cooked at high temperatures.
When you barbecue, you might want to add soy dogs and tofu burgers to the menu.
French fries may be a menace to your health — and not just because they’re loaded with fat when deep-fried. When potatoes and other high-carbohydrate foods are cooked at high temperatures, they can form toxic compounds known as acrylamides.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified acrylamides as “probable” cancer-causing agents.
You can minimize the formation of acrylamides by steaming, boiling, or toasting potatoes and other high-carbohydrate foods.
Article was originally printed in the Honolulu Advertiser, honoluluadvertiser.com