Deadly French Fries & Healthy Coffee

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Deadly French Fries & Healthy Coffee

Two interesting studies have come out this week:

French Fries and Acrylamide:   When plant-based foods are fried, a naturally occurring chemical forms and is called “acrylamide.”  A batch of french fries is an example where this chemical reaction occurs. Potatoes have a particularly high amount of acrylamide after being cooked in high temperatures for a long time. Scientists discovered acrylamide in 2002 and in varying degrees, it is often found in foods that are fried, roasted or baked. It has been linked to increased rates in cancer. This week the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a call for consumers to curtail their consumption of foods containing acrylamide. See http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm374855.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery  Since acrylamide is widely present in foods, it is typically not feasible to completely eliminate it out of one’s diet.  However, avoiding foods that generally have high concentration levels is very important.  According to the FDA, the major food sources to consider avoiding are: (1) fried foods, (2) toasted bread that is burnt or forms very brown areas and (3) cooked cut potato products.  Storing potatoes in a refrigerator will also increase the amount of acrylamide that forms when they are cooked. As a general rule, acrylamide is likely to accumulate in food when it is cooked for long periods of time and/or at very high temperatures.

Health Benefits of Coffee: A new study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, concludes that is there is a firm connection between the  consumption of coffee and reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes. Unfortunately, type-2 diabete rates are increasing around the world. For clarification, type-1 diabetes is where the body is not producing insulin to transport glucose from the blood to the body cells.  Type-2 diabetes is where the cells are not responding properly to the insulin, and/or there is not enough insulin being produced. Type-2 diabetes is common in people who are overweight. According to a National Public Radio report, the relationship between regular coffee consumption and a lower risk of type-2 diabetes has actually been shown multiple times over the last several years. This new study pulled all of the prior studies and after analysis, concluded that the relationship between drinking coffee and reducing type-2 diabetes is pretty consistent. Specifically, researchers concluded that drinking two cups of coffee per day was associated with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of type-2 diabetes. See http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/11/14/study-coffee-diabetes

 

Kirk Schroder / Food Advocate / foodadvocate@ellwoodthompsons.com