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Burnt Food Can Cause Cancer, Really?

One of the risk factors for the emergence of cancer is the food consumed and how to process it. Is it true that food cooked by baking or burning can trigger cancer? Check out the explanation below.

Burnt Food Can Cause Cancer, Really?

Causes of Burnt Food Associated with Cancer

According to a number of studies, consuming burned foods can cause cancer, including colon cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

It is strongly suspected that the cause comes from the formation of carcinogens during the roasting process. Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer.

When meat is cooked using high temperatures, the keratin and amino acids in the meat will start to react. This is what then forms heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs).

Besides that, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHA) can also be formed due to burning using high heat. This carcinogen is also the reason why burned food can cause cancer.

PAHs are chemicals that are formed when fat is burned by fire. These substances can stick to meat, especially if you cook it over open flames.

Also Read: Is it true that consumption of MSG can cause cancer?

This content is also found in cigarette smoke and air pollution. Therefore, exposure to both is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The formation of HCA and PAH is different. This depends on the type of meat, cooking method and degree of doneness. But certainly, meat that is cooked at temperatures above 148 degrees Celsius for a long time has the risk of forming more HCA.

On the other hand, cooking methods that allow meat to be directly exposed to smoke can cause PAHs to form.

Both HA and PAH are mutagenic. This means, the two compounds can cause changes in the DNA of cells that trigger the formation of cancer.

Should You Stop Consuming Burnt Foods?

Basically, you can still eat burnt food. It is important to remember, food is only one of the factors that trigger cancer to form. So, there are a number of other factors that should not be overlooked.

In addition, meat is also rich in storing protein and fat which is good for the body. Therefore, this food intake is still needed by the body.

However, you should reduce the amount of consumption. Avoid consuming too much burnt food, especially meat.

The reason is, the protein content in it is known to be more than that of fish. This makes the meat that is burned has the risk of forming more HCA.

Also Read: 9 cancer-causing foods that need to be limited and be aware of

How to Reduce Carcinogens from Burned Foods

In order to keep burning food safe, there are a number of things you need to pay attention to, including:

1. Avoid Processed Meats

Processed meat can increase your risk of cancer, especially if it is grilled or baked.

Therefore, limit or avoid grilling processed meats. Instead, choose unprocessed meat.

2. Marinate Meat Before Cooking

The next step is to do the marination. Soak the meat using spices or acidic ingredients for about 20 minutes. This method can help reduce the risk of developing HAC by up to 90 percent.

3. Bake Using Gas

Some people may think that grilling meat over charcoal will make the meal much more enjoyable than grilling it over gas.

But remember, exposure to smoke that hits grilled meat can trigger the formation of PAHs. Therefore, use a grill that allows the smoke not to hit the meat directly.

Also Read: Important Things to Do When You Are Diagnosed with Cancer

4. Cook at a Lower Temperature

Even though it takes longer, try to cook it at a lower temperature. This technique can be a way to burn food that does not cause cancer.

5. Eliminate Fat in Meat

Before grilling meat, make sure you have degreased it first. This method will help reduce the amount of PAHs that are formed so that the risk of getting cancer can decrease.

6. Combine with Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables do not trigger carcinogens when grilled or grilled. Therefore, you can add various types of vegetables to the grill.

You can also provide a variety of fruits as a complement. Fruit can increase the intake of vitamins and minerals into the body.

Nowthat’s the explanation regarding food that is burned and its relation to cancer. Knowing its impact on health, be sure to limit its consumption.

  1. Anonymous. 2017. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. (Accessed February 17, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. 2019. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk (Fact Sheet). (Accessed February 17, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. 2022. Do Grilled Foods Cause Cancer? (Accessed February 17, 2023).
  4. Jones, Brandy. 2022. Grilling Meats and an Increased Cancer Risk. (Accessed February 17, 2023).

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