Unhealthy cooking methods can lead to cancer

Here are a few common practices in cooking methods and dietary habits that are harmful to health and can be seen in daily life. I hope these suggestions will help you prevent cancer.

1.Unhealthy cooking methods:Frying food in high-temperature oil

When frying food in oil, the temperature of the oil in the pan can reach over 200°C, causing complex chemical reactions in the oil. High-temperature cooking oil, especially oil that has been repeatedly heated, can produce carcinogens such as benzo[a]pyrene. The skin and flesh of fish contain proteins, amino acids, and a small amount of fat. When exposed to high temperatures, these components undergo thermal decomposition, leading to the formation of heterocyclic compounds. The higher the temperature of the oil and the longer the frying time, the more heterocyclic compounds are produced, and these compounds are carcinogenic. After consuming such fried foods, heterocyclic compounds can be detected in the urine, although in small amounts.

However, long-term consumption of fried fish, meat, and poultry (including chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, quail, etc.) can lead to the accumulation of carcinogens in the body. If additional carcinogens or promoters are ingested or inhaled, it may lead to cancer. Studies have shown that oxidized cholesterol in fried foods can accelerate atherosclerosis, leading to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle and causing coronary heart disease. Fast food items mainly consisting of fried meats, poultry, and fries are high in fat and calories. Regular consumption of these foods may lead to overweight or obesity and increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Unhealthy cooking methods can lead to cancer
Unhealthy cooking methods can lead to cancer

Researchers in Europe have found in multiple studies since 2002 that when you bake, fry, or roast starchy foods like potatoes, a cancer-causing substance called acrylamide is produced. A kilogram of potato chips can contain up to 1000 micrograms of acrylamide, and even baked goods like cakes and cookies have it too. That’s why many Europeans think of fried potato chips as junk food. Some studies even suggest that acrylamide is worse for your health than aflatoxins.

German researchers looked at around 1000 different foods and found that by changing how they are processed, the amount of acrylamide in them can be reduced. Lowering the frying temperature, for example, can cut the acrylamide in potato chips by about 15%. It’s estimated that if we can control acrylamide levels in food, Germany could prevent around 10,000 cancer cases every year.

So, how can we improve cooking methods? To reduce the intake of cancer-causing substances, when cooking meat or veggies, don’t crank up the heat on the oil too high. Avoid letting the oil smoke because that means it’s over 200°C, which can lead to the formation of carcinogens. Keep the frying time short and don’t let the food brown too much to minimize the risk.

In your daily routine, try to steer clear of deep-frying meats, chicken, fish, shrimp, potatoes, and the like. It’s best to opt for steaming, boiling, simmering, braising, stewing, or making salads without frying. This way, you’ll be doing your health a favor by skipping the frying process. So, it’s a good idea to cut down on or avoid fried foods.

2.Unhealthy cooking methods:Smoked and grilled food:

When you smoke, grill, or char food, it can create cancer-causing compounds like benzo[a]pyrene, which can lead to Gastric Cancer. People in Iceland who love smoked lamb and those in the former Soviet coastal areas who enjoy smoked fish have a much higher risk of stomach cancer compared to people in other countries. Grilled lamb skewers, for example, not only soak up carcinogens from the smoke but also produce cancer-causing substances when cooked at high temperatures.

Studies have shown that homemade smoked meat contains 23 micrograms of benzo[a]pyrene per kilogram, while hanging meat near a fire for smoking can result in 107 micrograms of benzo[a]pyrene per kilogram. When fats drip and burn during the grilling process, benzo[a]pyrene is formed and sticks to the surface of the meat. If smoked and grilled food is left for a few weeks, benzo[a]pyrene can seep deep into the meat. Whether it’s meat, fish, or poultry, smoking and grilling are not healthy cooking methods. The charred parts of food have the highest levels of benzo[a]pyrene, so it’s best to steer clear of them.

Is there a way to make grilling safer? I’m thinking of trying electric or microwave cooking instead of using wood or charcoal, which can shorten the cooking time and prevent food from getting burnt. This can help reduce smoke pollution, but it doesn’t eliminate the cancer-causing substances produced when proteins and fats are exposed to high heat. So, the best bet is to avoid or cut back on smoked and grilled foods.

3.Unhealthy cooking methods:Food marinated with salt:

A lot of foods are preserved with salt, and many families like to use salt to preserve pork, poultry, fish, eggs, and so on. In stores, you can buy ham, bacon, sausages, pickles, and pickled vegetables, all of which are salt-preserved. These foods have high salt levels and may also contain small amounts of nitrites, primary amines, and nitrosamines.

What are the risks of consuming salt-preserved foods on our health? Well, first off, these foods are usually loaded with salt. While salt is essential, too much of it can be bad for you, increasing the risk of conditions like high blood pressure and stomach cancer. Some studies even suggest that excessive salt intake can promote cancer. The international recommendation is to limit salt intake to around 5 to 6 grams per day.

On the flip side, cured meats often have sodium nitrite, a preservative that can be a bit sketchy. When different meats are being cured, their proteins can turn into some dodgy stuff called secondary amines. If the conditions are just right, these amines team up with nitrite to create a cancer-causing compound called nitrosamine. Even though it’s just a tiny bit, if you chow down on this stuff too often or in large amounts, those nitrosamines can pile up in your system and potentially lead to various types of cancer.

The same deal goes for pickled veggies – the salt content is too darn high, and some of the nitrates in the veggies get converted to nitrites, which, when mixed with the veggie goodness, also produce a tad of those nasty nitrosamines.

So, How about making sauerkraut without adding salt? Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences discovered cancer-causing mold, mold toxins, and nitrosamines in sauerkraut from Linxian. Tests have shown that some mold toxins and nitrosamines can lead to esophageal and precancerous stomach cancer in rats. The people in Linxian have a high rate of esophageal cancer and cardia cancer. So, sauerkraut is not good for your health.

From all this, we can see that to reduce the risk of cancer, it’s best to cut down on or avoid fried, deep-fried, smoked, grilled, and pickled foods. It’s better to cook in healthier ways, change your eating habits, and go for fresh foods.

The improvement of cooking methods will reduce the risk of cancer. Kitchenware in life also needs to be updated regularly (you can visit Wal Mart website to buy kitchenware). Long term used kitchenware will also produce substances harmful to health.

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