Other food to avoid

Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food?

For many people, there's nothing better than a piece of meat cooked over coals or flame grilled, that's really burnt on the outside and juicy inside. When it comes to toasted bread, some prefer it the more burnt the better. This preference for "excessively browned" food is also the case with other foods like pizza or chips. However, the claim that eating this way can be harmful for your health, and may even increase the risk of cancer, worries many people.

Is it bad to eat burnt food? How much damage can this habit cause to your health? In OneHowTo.com we will explain it in detail.

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  1. What effect does burnt food have on the body?
  2. Relationship between burnt food and cancer
  3. Everything in moderation

What effect does burnt food have on the body?

The cooking process affects the properties of the food that you consume and also interferes with the amount of nutrients you receive. For example, many vegetables are best eaten well washed but either raw or lightly steamed, rather than being prepared by frying, baking or grilling them. In the same way, a piece of meat cooked rare or medium will be easier to digest in your stomach than a piece of meat that is really well done or even burnt.

This is all important to know when learning if it is bad to eat burnt food or not. When you cook food too much, you alter its nutritional content. In addition, any fat cooked at 250°C (482°F) or higher loses its natural properties and becomes harmful to the body. This is because burning food increases the content of carbon dioxide. After ingesting these toxins, your body must process them prior to eliminating them.

If you often consume burnt meals, there comes a time when your body cannot effectively process toxins, causing them to accumulate in the body, which can lead to a degeneration of cells and various gastric or liver diseases.

In addition, burnt food is harder for your stomach to digest, so it has to spend more time and energy processing it. This can cause an immediate feeling of having a heavy stomach, heartburn and digestive discomfort, giving rise to various gastric diseases that can become chronic illnesses.

Eating burnt food on an occasional basis will not kill you, but if you eat it several times a week or it becomes a habit, your health can be affected.

Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food? - What effect does burnt food have on the body?

Relationship between burnt food and cancer

Much has been said about the fact that eating burnt food causes cancer. This link has mainly been made due to the fact that cooking food at high temperatures leads to the formation of certain substances which pass through your body once ingested. Some of these have been linked to the formation of cancer cells.

Substances that may be present in foods and are linked to cancer include:

  • Acrylamide: This is an organic compound formed in foods when cooked at high temperatures. This is yet to be conclusively proven as a link to cancer in humans, although it has been observed that exposure through diet may be important in the development of pancreatic cancer.
  • Heterocyclic amine: This is a chemical compound which is present in certain foods cooked at high temperatures, such as meat. One of this amine's biological functions includes the creation of carcinogens, which are agents capable of causing cancer when exposed to live agents.

At present, no study exists which concludes that eating burnt food causes cancer. However, based on the information explained above, if you are frequently exposed to substances that are generated in ingredients when cooked at high temperatures, you could increase the risk of this condition, especially stomach, colon, and pancreatic cancers among others.

For this reason, many medical specialists and EU health advisors have called on people to limit the consumption of burnt food due to its acrylamide content which could be harmful to health.

Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food? - Relationship between burnt food and cancer

Everything in moderation

This is not the first time that a direct link has been established between certain types of food and cancer. The World Health Organization has already warned that excessive consumption of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Therefore the key thing is to eat burnt food in moderation when eating it can become a problem for your health.

A piece of chicken, occasional burnt meat, or a grilled pizza once in a while, will not detrimentally affect your health. But if you tend to eat it frequently, then you should correct this habit and learn to eat food that has been adequately cooked, otherwise you'll be placing your health and well-being at risk.

Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food? - Everything in moderation

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food?, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.

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Is it Bad to Eat Burnt Food?