Do not Fry your food!

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Do not Fry your food!

It is well known by many that smoking increases your chances of lung cancer but what is not well known is that frying your food puts your lungs at a similar risk. How does this happen?

When fat is fried (this could be fat from oil or lard) and reaches the temperature used to fry foods, toxic chemicals are released from the fats. These chemicals have mutagenic effects (they mutate your genes and put you at higher risk of developing a cancerous mutation) and if inhaled might lead to the development of lung cancer.

Whilst frying any type of fat appears harmful, fat from meat (animal fat) seems to put one at a much higher risk (three times to be exact) of developing lung cancer than those frying vegetables using vegetable oil. This is mostly due to the release of heterocyclic amines that are released upon breakdown of muscle tissue, nitrosamines (released in high quantities from fried processed meats like bacon) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (which are also found in cigarette smoke). There is also no doubt in the literature that a pregnant individual is exposed to these chemicals whilst in the third trimester, their foetus may experience similar deleterious effects to those exposed to cigarette smoke in utero.

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So how does one go about reducing exposure to these toxic chemicals?
Whilst no longer frying or avoiding fried foods is the best way, this is not practical for most individuals. Therefore, improving ventilation in the kitchen or limiting frying to a barbeque outside might limit one’s exposure to these harsh chemicals. Furthermore, frying plant-based food appears to produce fewer mutagenic chemicals than animal products do.

Therefore, one should avoid frying food as much as reasonably possible as there is research to suggest the possibility of harsh chemicals being released when food is fried. Therefore, reduce fried food consumption, ensure adequate ventilation in the kitchen, and use plant foods for frying instead.

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