How to make cancer toast!

24th January 2017

How to make cancer toast!

We are all being urged to ‘go for gold’ when it comes to eating toast, chips and potatoes to avoid eating burnt food that could pose a cancer risk.

The warning has come from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which recommends that people avoid browning starchy foods that are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures.

This is to reduce intake of a chemical called acrylamide, a natural by-product of the cooking process. Generally, the food scientists say, the darker the colour of the cooked item such as toast, the more acrylamide is present.

Personally, I like my toast hot and golden brown, so the butter melts in. However I’ve heard some people prefer theirs cold to get a crunchier bite – each to his or her own.

It is an interesting debate, with an added factor in that Cancer Research UK claims that the feared link between browned toast and increased risk of cancer has not been proven.

The FSA also suggests not keeping raw potatoes and parsnips in the fridge as this can also increase the amount of acrylamide when the vegetables are eventually cooked.

As an oncologist I am of course all in favour of raising awareness of cancer risks, but the biggest threat remains smoking, excessive drinking and obesity. Tackling those risk factors will have a bigger impact in improving health and could even make the risk of some cancers, well, toast!

In the meantime my advice is to enjoy a health, well-balanced diet and I will continue with my golden-coloured toast.

For more information about my work visit my CV page, or contact me here.

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