We all know that a lot of things are "bad for us." Treats like brownies, fries, fried mozzarella sticks (getting specific I know) and burgers either have too much fat, too much sugar, too many calories, or too much of another thing scientists just found out is bad.
This hasn't stopped us from eating these foods, though. But is this because we don't know just HOW bad a lot of processed food is for our health?
A new study has found evidence that foods like fries and porato chips are linked to genome mutations, which can be responsible for the development of cancers.
TL;DR "Plant-based foods that are rich in carbohydrates and low in protein," like French fries, often contain acrylamide. It has recently been shown that acrylamide causes mutations that can lead to cancer.
A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Molecular Mechanisms and Biomarkers Group has found evidence that acrylamide is a "probable human carcinogen."
A press release statement by the head of the IARC’s Section of Nutrition and Metabolism reveals that the study "provides intriguing evidence that acrylamide can cause specific mutations in humans that may lead to cancer development."
Acrylamide is a chemical that is produced naturally when certain foods such as plant-based foods rich in carbohydrates and low in protein are processed or cooked at high temperatures.
What is #acrylamide and how we can reduce it? @EFSA_EU infographic https://t.co/Qb4MewLalm— EU Food Safety (@Food_EU) September 13, 2018
@Food_EUdecision adopted in 2017 on acrylamide reduction in food https://t.co/DFrOKZUbFK #ProcessContaminants #EU #food #foodsafety #EFSA pic.twitter.com/99WZwr3UW7
It has recently been discovered that acrylamide is responsible for glycidamide-linked “mutational signatures” in 30% of tumours studies by the IARC.
In the words of senior author of the study Dr. Jiri Zavadil, this means that "a commonplace dietary and lifestyle agent can produce highly characteristic DNA damage, thereby potentially contributing to the development of cancer."
This is the second time in only a few weeks that we learn about potentially dangerous chemicals in our food. Two weeks ago we learnt about the concerning amounts of glysophate contained in commonly consumed foods.
As for acrylamide, foods ranging from coffee to almonds are affected, though the highest levels of chemicals are found in foods like French fries and potato chips.
Needless to say, people are disappointed:
But....but..... French fries... 😔https://t.co/MfoQEs9DeJ— Melanie (@Louve350) March 7, 2019
today i learned that french fries, one of my favourite foods, contains both a neurotoxin and a carcinogen, it’s been nice knowing u folks 🤘🏻— annika (@annikaquirante) February 28, 2019
The authors of the study warn that more research needs to be done before we can reach definitive conclusions.