For many there is nothing better than a piece of meat made from charcoal or grilled that is very toasted on the outside and juicy on the inside, and what to say about bread toast that, for some of us, the more toast the better. This preference for “excessively golden” foods also occurs with other foods such as pizza or fried potatoes, however the statement that eating in this way can be harmful to health and even increase the risk of cancer, worries many.
Is it bad to eat burnt food? How much damage can this habit cause to our health? Here we explain it to you in detail.
What effect does burned food have on the body?
The cooking process affects the properties of the food we eat and also interferes with the amount of nutrients we receive. For example, many vegetables are better to consume well washed but raw or lightly steamed, rather than in preparations such as fried, baked or grilled. In the same way, a piece of meat that is undercooked or average will be easier for our stomach to digest than a piece of meat that is very cooked and also somewhat burned.
All this is important to understand if it is bad to eat burned food or not. When we cook a food too much we alter its nutritional contributions, but also any fat cooked at 250 ºC or more loses its property of being natural and becomes something harmful to the body. This occurs because by burning food we increase the amount of carbon dioxide they contain, then ingesting those toxins that must be processed by our body for their subsequent elimination.
If we frequently consume burned foods, there will come a time when our body will no longer be able to process toxins effectively, making them accumulate in the body, which can lead to cell degeneration and various gastric or liver diseases. .
Furthermore, burnt food is more difficult for our stomach to digest, which must invest more time and resources in processing it. This can immediately cause stomach heaviness, heartburn and digestive discomfort, leading to various gastric diseases that can become chronic.
Eating burnt food will not eventually kill us, however if we do it several times a week or it becomes a habit for us, then our health may be affected.
Relationship between burned food and cancer
Much has been said about eating burned food causes cancer, this link is mainly due to the fact that cooking at high temperatures of food leads to the formation of certain substances that, once ingested, pass into our body. Some of them have been linked to the formation of cancer cells.
The substances that can be present in food and that are linked to cancer are:
- Acrylamide: an organic compound that is formed in food when cooked at high temperatures. Its link to cancer has not yet been conclusively demonstrated in humans, although it has been observed that its exposure through diet may be important in the development of pancreatic cancer.
- Heterocyclic amines: This is a chemical compound that is present in certain foods cooked at high temperatures, such as meat. One of the biological functions of this amine is the creation of carcinogens, agents capable of producing cancer when exposed to live agents.
Currently, there is no study that can conclude that consuming burned food causes cancer. However, and based on the previously explained, being frequently exposed to the substances that are generated in the ingredients when cooking them at high temperatures, could increase the risk of suffering from this condition, especially cancer of the stomach, colon, pancreas, among others. .
For this reason, various medical specialists and health advisers from the European Union have invited to limit the consumption of burned food due to its acrylamide content, which could be harmful.
All in moderation
It is not the first time that a direct relationship has been established between certain types of food and cancer. The World Health Organization has already warned that overeating processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer, therefore the key to preventing eating burned food from becoming a problem for our health is to do so in moderation.
A piece of chicken, meat burned from time to time, or a pizza that has gone a little browned once in a while, surely will not affect you tragically. But if this is your way of eating frequently, then it is convenient that you correct it and learn to eat with the proper cooking, otherwise you will be risking your health and well-being.