What’s better than a toasted bread slice for breakfast? It’s quick-to-make and quite filling at the same time. There must have been times when you would have ended up eating a burnt toast, considering you forgot setting a timer in your toaster. But, did you know that there might be a health risk linked to burnt toast? In fact, The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK had launched a campaign warning about cancer risks linked to eating burnt toast or any other foods that contained starch being cooked at high temperatures. Now, there is no scientific proof, but here’s what the reason may be.
According to Dr. Preeti Jain, Senior Dietitian at Action Cancer Hospital, “It is highly recommended to not overdo vegetables while cooking or burn bread when put in toaster. The idea behind the same is to reduce the amount of compound acrylamide that is formed, which is a chemical that lives on food that contains starch, like breads and potatoes. It’s yet to be scientifically proven that foods like these contain chemical that are linked to cancer. It’s better to avoid cooking them at high temperatures as foods like these are not counted under the healthiest snacks available.”
It is highly recommended to not overdo vegetables while cooking
According to the FSA, some mouse studies identified that high level of acrylamide led to an increased risk of cancer. Acrylamide is the compound that makes bread and potatoes golden brown in colour when toasted, roasted or fried. This compound is formed from simple sugars like glucose, reacting with an amino acid known as asparagine, when these foods are cooked at high temperatures. Now, as these foods are cooked for longer period, they may turn golden to brown and eventually black. In the process, they produce higher levels of acrylamide, which may further increase the risk of cancer as per the FSA campaign.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while the information on levels of acrylamide in food is incomplete, the magnitude of the cancer risk posed by the compound hasn’t been quantified; however, several principles must be applied in order to minimize whatever risk exists, one of them being foods shouldn’t be cooked excessively, that is for too long or at high temperature.
So, even if it hasn’t been proved that acrylamide may be linked to cancer, it does not mean that is isn’t unhealthy for you. Always prefer eating golden brown toast, not only to enjoy health but also the taste; after all who’d like the taste of a burnt toast?