Making your French fries look crispy and your toast nice and brown does carry a health risk. There is debate over how great the risk is when frying foods too long creates a chemical compound linked to a risk of cancer, acrylamide. U.T. Health Science Center-Houston toxicologist Amitava Dasgupta says cooking French fries at 170 degrees for four minutes makes them taste good, but often it doesn’t stop there.
“If you add another 30 seconds, it looks even crispier,” he explains.
Because the problem is tied to fast foods, it could actually impact younger people first.
“Young kids and adolescents are at higher risk of getting this chemical from fast food than elderly,” explains Dasgupta.
Baylor medicine registered dietician Molly Gee says our fast food culture is part of the problem.
“The quicker you cook it at higher temperatures,” she says, “just keep in mind that you are creating more of this acrylamide.”
There is a way to approach this situation:
“Perhaps not eating fried foods so often,” Gee suggests. “That not only helps you with this chemical, acrylamide, but also can help your waistline.”