Favourite Food & Cancer Risk – the brown stuff


Go lighter for better health and be mindful of brown food to reduce your risk of cancer

Brown toast and spuds are “potential cancer risk”, says food scientists, the culprit is acrylamide; a cancer chemical which is formed when starchy food is cooked at high temperatures and cakes, chips, bread, biscuits, chips, toast, and coffee are not spared as these conventional yummies also carry the same cancer chemical warning.

According to the UK Food Standard Agency (FSA) – the brown colour is due to nutrients; water, sugar, and protein amino acids merges under high heat conditions and the cancer chemical is formed – so is enzyme foods better.

Think Enzymes – the life force in the food

These conventional yummies had an original form (whole food) with enzymes such as amylase which naturally break down complex starches into simple sugar and this natural food transaction takes place happily within our digestion system – the problem is that food enzymes are heat sensitive and so at high temperature they perish and the result is – “dead food” such as acrylamide brown food.

And according to Dr Edward Howell (Enzyme Nutrition) and other nutritional scientist temperatures above 118 degree Fahrenheit kill the vital healthy “life force” enzyme in food – over time your own body natural enzyme becomes depleted as it battles with dead empty enzyme food and you may experience several health problems including poor digestion problems as well.

A perfect toast – well, studies has shown that a toaster should be set at 154 °C which is 309.2°F and the toast is cooked for just over 3 minutes, sure this way of cooking cannot support health as the safety temperature threshold will be exceeded. In-addition since the toast is already denatured, Maillard reaction, the life-less toast cannot be nutritionally sound food – although fortified vitamins and minerals can help.

How to avoid acrylamide in your food?

Take up healthier styles of cooking or preparing food to reduce your risk of cancer forming chemical, acrylamide  – try smoothie, light steam, dehydrate, and light sautéing.

Other cancer risk food factors

Coupled with other cancer causing stuff such as fish, beef, pork and chicken to name a few – Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are also cancer causing chemicals and these are formed with high temperature cooking such as BBQ and Grilling to form the brown colour.

So, combining these foods in bread or toasted sandwich is not a good plan.

Science found that sick people are nutrient deficient –  high heated food also rob your body of important  nutrients, namely; folate, thiamine, cobalamin, riboflavin, B3 and Vitamin C, fat-solubles; Vitamins; A, E, D and K – these nutrients help to support your immune system to defence you again disease and to support your body metabolism and to combat fatigue.

Some solutions?

While awareness is important, personal action is paramount and so the “Food Standard Agency” (FSA) has launched a campaign about the health risk of food cancer risk of acrylamide – brown food.

The FSA campaign is titled “Go for Gold” – so aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter.

Balance is vital so do remember enzyme (the life force) in your food and so the 5 a day message is important.

And finally….

All that glitter is not gold so pay extra attention to the brown stuff which occurs when high heat temperature is applied to your food.

Make healthier food choices so remember that enzymes in food can support your health.  Take up healthier styles of cooking or preparing food to reduce your risk of cancer forming chemical, acrylamide.

To the best of health.

Alison Henry, WAFFL Nutritionist