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What is Acrylamide?

Acrylamide is found in uncooked, raw food. It is usually found in small amounts, but could, in the right circumstances create a toxic, cancerous health risk. The significantly larger, dangerous amounts of acrylamide occur once low-level foods have been cooked. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that the average American adult takes in approximately 27 micrograms of dietary acrylamide every day, about 19% of the maximum amount of acrylamide.

o   How are is Dangerous Dietary Acrylamide Formed?

There are two processes at work:

1.     The combination of amino acids interacting with sugars as they are heated can create large quantities of acrylamide heat. Though this occurs with a wide variety of sugars and amino, the amino acid most likely to create acrylamide is asparagine. (Asparagine is named for its discovery, and is asparagus juice, though asparagus itself is not particularly high in acrylamide.)

2.     Acrylamide does not always require sugars to develop. Oxidized fats in food form 3-carbon molecules that can interact with asparagine to form acrylamide. This is the case with fried foods, when little sugar is present.

o   How Can People Protect Themselves?

Just because a food contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, doesn’t mean acrylamide is a threat. The right combination of asparagine, a sugar and/or the oxidation of fat have to occur for acrylamide to form.

There has been some recent concern regarding the acrylamide levels in canned or processed foods like asparagus and black olives. The research is inconsistent, but it is another reason to seek out the freshest food possible.

To protect you body, minimize your exposure in the following ways:

1.     Avoid fried, processed foods, especially potato chips and french fries.

2.     Limit baked snack foods containing wheat and sugar.

3.     Restrict foods that contain toasted grains, like toasted wheat cereals, roasted grain-based coffee substitutes, roasted cocoa beans (and associated chocolate products), and various dehydrated soup mixes.

4.     Increase the intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, red peppers, and other detoxifying foods. This rebuilds your glutathione reserves to help neutralize stored acrylamide.

Read the full article here: What is acrylamide and how is it involved with food and health?