Wow. The last few days has seen the UK press reporting widely on the newly discovered dangers of cooked food. An expansion on the news that originally hit the public 3+ years ago on acrylamides, this article from yesterday in particular caught my eye from The Guardian. Take note of the first sentence (not particularly great phrasing, but the outcome is favourable!)...
Is cooked food dangerous?
By Lucy Atkins
Tuesday December 4, 2007
The Guardian Read online here
Shock news from the world of dietary research: raw-food fanatics may not be so deranged after all. Research has emerged showing a direct link between a chemical called acrylamide and womb and ovarian cancer in women. Acrylamide is produced when we roast, fry or bake our food.
If you are still reeling from last month's news that bacon and sausages cause cancer, then the idea that the future holds only raw beansprouts may seem a bit much. However, it appears that the more crispily we cook food - particularly starchy foods, such as potatoes - the more acrylamide is produced. The University of Maastricht study found that women who consumed 40 micrograms of acrylamide a day (the same as in a 32g packet of crisps) had double the risk of cancer than women who ate the least.
The evidence is so persuasive that the EU is now advising people to avoid overcooking when baking, frying or toasting carbohydrate-rich foods. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggests casting an aesthetic eye over your dinner plate: keep your chips to a gentle golden yellow, and your toast to the lightest shade acceptable.
Acrylamide, explains a FSA spokesman, is a chemical produced naturally when a wide variety of foods are cooked. Most breakfast cereals contain it. Cooked meat contains low levels, too. This latest study is not the first to show a link with cancer. However, the FSA admits that, "It is not possible to have a healthy balanced diet that avoids acrylamide." Virtually all women eat acrylamide, probably daily. Not all of us get endometrial or ovarian cancer.
The sensible point lurking deep in the headlines is that we should all cut down on chips, crisps, fast foods and processed foods, which contain the highest levels of acrylamide. In short, eat everything in moderation and increase your fruit and vegetable intake to offset the (unavoidable) baddies.
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This is interesting:
Some of you know this, many of you won't: When I was 22/23 I was diagnosed with "severe cervical cell abnormalities". This was to the degree where they wanted to operate on me ASAP "or you may have cervical cancer by the time you are 40" said my doctor. Well, I bowed out of that option having faith in a more natural route, and cleared myself of it in a short few months using raw foods, wheatgrass and visualisation... BUT I was never truly sure why I would have that so young when I didn't smoke, drink alcohol or do any of the things that apparently predispose someone to that condition. Now, I think I know. Or at least I feel it is being confrimed, I think I always had my suspicions! - I ate pretty much nothing but fried, grilled and roasted food. This is just the start people...