Acrylamide is a chemical that naturally occurs when potatoes or starchy foods are fried or baked at high temperatures. The chemical is also highly linked to cancer. So, while you may love french fries, you may be adding a serving of cancer to your meal every time you munch down on them.
Frozen and Fried (or Baked)
In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, it appears that food companies are making an effort to reduce the amount of acrylamide present in french fries and chips. The highest levels of the carcinogen are present in french fries that are prepared and frozen and then fried. Researchers found that acrylamide formation is unavoidable in fried potatoes. However, they did discover that reducing the amount of glucose in potatoes can also reduce the amount of acrylamide that forms when they are fried.
Potato chips also have acrylamide in high amounts, even the baked versions. For comparison, McDonalds fries have the highest amount of acrylamide, with 82 mcg in a 6.2 ounce serving, KFC potato wedges have 52 mcg in a 6.2 ounce serving and Wendy’s fries have 39 mcg in a 5.6 ounce serving. One ounce of Pringles chips has 25 mcg and Fritos corn chips have 11 mcg in a one ounce serving. Other chips that have high amounts of acrylamide include Cape Cod, Kettle Chips and Lay’s potato chips.
Instead of trying to reduce acrylamide levels, fast food and processed food companies do not seem to be interested in finding attractive alternatives to french fries and potato chips. If you have to stop at a fast food place for a quick meal, avoid ordering fries. Keep a bag of raw almonds in your car or purse for an easy and healthy snack. Instead of stopping at McDonalds, stop at a grocery store and pick up an apple or a freshly made veggie sandwich. There are lots of healthy alternatives to fast food and chips if you are in a hurry.
What do you eat when you need to grab something quickly? Do you have suggestions for avoiding snacks like chips?
– The Alternative Daily