Can Burnt Toast Give You Cancer?
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
Many Americans have toasted bread first thing in the morning. For some, the morning meal also includes hash browned potatoes. Or later in the day, they might enjoy potato chips or crispy French fries.
But if you like any of these foods cooked until they are dark brown in color, you might want to limit how much of them you eat.
That is the finding of a British government agency. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is urging people to avoid eating burnt or very well toasted bread and deeply browned potatoes.
The danger, the agency says, is when starchy foods are cooked until they are very firm or even burnt.
The concern is a chemical called acrylamide. Acrylamide is produced naturally in food during cooking at high temperatures. It has been identified as a possible cancer-causing substance.
New Scientist magazine reports that high levels of acrylamide are present in starchy foods, like potatoes, when they are cooked at temperatures over 120 degrees Celsius. British researchers note that acrylamide can also be present in breakfast cereals, cookies and coffee.
Steve Wearne is the Director of Policy at the FSA. He says most people do not know that the chemical exists or that it could create a health hazard.
The FSA launched a study to identify acrylamide exposure in the British population. Researchers found that most people are exposed to too much of the chemical. They said this contact could increase their overall risk of getting cancer.
How to avoid the risk
The agency even created an expression to help people remember. The FSA suggests people should "Go for the Gold!" when they prepare starchy foods. Heating bread or potatoes to a golden brown, they claim, is healthier than over-cooking them or burning them.
Wearne says the agency is not saying that people should worry "about the occasional meal that's a bit overcooked." He said these suggestions are about controlling risk during one's lifetime.
The agency is also urging people to eat fewer high-calorie foods like potato chips, French fries and cookies -- all of which have acrylamides.
There are other things you can do to limit your exposure to acrylamides.
Experts at New Scientist suggest that you not keep potatoes in the refrigerator. They explain that "at low temperatures, an enzyme breaks down" the sugars in the potato. These sugars can form acrylamide during cooking. They add that frozen foods don't have this risk. Sugars, like sucrose, do not break down at low temperatures.
Another cooking tip is you can also blanch potatoes before frying. Blanching is heating food briefly in water. This will remove the potato skin and half the sugar, resulting in lower levels of acrylamide.
Scientists have launched other studies to better understand how acrylamide forms in some overcooked foods and how cooking traditions may affect people.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.morning meal 早餐
You should make your morning meal the main one.
2.break down 分解；决裂
Talks with business leaders broke down last night.
3.starchy foods 淀粉类食品
A generation of children is at risk of fatty liver disease because they eat too many starchy foods, new research suggests.
4.health hazard 健康危害
The recent outbreaks of cholera are a timely reminder that this disease is still a serious health hazard.
1.It has been identified as a possible cancer-causing substance.
However, there are reports that sunscreen contains toxic or cancer-causing chemicals.
Poor barbecuing techniques create cancer-causing chemicals in meat.
2.Blanching is heating food briefly in water. This will remove the potato skin and half the sugar, resulting in lower levels of acrylamide.
resulting in 导致
It will close more than 200 stores nationwide resulting in the layoffs of an estimated 2,000 employees.
The storms have caused mountain torrents and mud-rock flows, resulting in transportation blocks.
大多数美国人起床后的第一件事就是吃烤面包 。有些人早餐会吃炸土豆饼 。当天晚些时候，他们可能会吃点薯片或酥脆的炸薯条 。
以上结论由英国一家政府机构研究得出 。食品标准局（FSA）呼吁大家避免食用烤焦或烤得均匀的面包，以及油炸过度的马铃薯 。
这种危险的化学物质名为丙烯酰胺 。食物经高温烹调时会产生丙烯酰胺 。这种物质被列为可致癌物质 。
《新科学家》杂志报道称，当马铃薯等淀粉类食品在超过120摄氏度的高温中烹调时，会产生大量的丙烯酰胺 。研究员们还指出早餐麦片、饼干和咖啡中也可能含有丙烯酰胺 。
史蒂夫·韦恩（Steve Wearne）是FSA的政策部主任 。他解释称，大多数人不知道这种化学物质，或不了解这种物质存在健康隐患 。
FSA发起一项研究旨在调查英国人接触丙烯酰胺的范围 。研究员发现，大多数人经常接触这类化学物质 。他们表示，这种接触行为可能会增加患癌的概率 。
为了帮助人们记忆，食品标准局还发明了一句口头禅 。FSA建议称，烹饪淀粉类食品时应“追求金色” 。将面包或马铃薯烤成金黄色比过度烘烤或烤焦更健康 。
韦恩表示，不过人们无需为“偶尔一次过度烹饪的食物”而担心 。他认为，FSA的建议是指人一生的风险控制 。
《新科学家》杂志的专家建议称，不要将马铃薯放在冰箱里 。他们进一步解释：“在低温状态下，马铃薯中的酶会分解糖分” 。而这些糖分会在烹饪过程中转化成丙烯酰胺 。他们还说，冷冻食品不存在此类风险 。例如蔗糖等糖类在低温状态下不会分解 。
还有一条烹饪提示需要注意，在炸马铃薯前可用沸水将其焯一下 。焯就是将食物快速地放入沸水中加热 。这样可以去除马铃薯表皮和一半的糖分，丙烯酰胺的含量也将大大减少 。