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Stop what you’re doing! Put down the roast potatoes and step away from the acrylamide…

This morning the Food Standard Agency (FSA) posted an update about the safe levels of acrylamide in our diets. Now we all know that news channels and newspapers love a sensationalised headline, but what does this really mean?

Firstly, we should point out that the FSA are there to keep us all safe and if they are in any doubt, they are more than likely to err on the side of caution. However, it feels is if they may have jumped the gun slightly. Acrylamide has been listed as a probable human carcinogen for some time.

The study that is getting all of the focus was performed on lab animals. After exposure to vey high levels of acrylamide it caused tumors to grow. This hints towards it having the POTENTIAL to cause tumors in humans but so far human trials are incomplete or have shown no link. The lab animals in these studies have been exposed to levels of acrylamide that are as much as 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels you may usually be exposed to in foods.

Our thoughts: We would always encourage you to follow the FSA advice. It might not be 100% clear if being exposed to acrylamide may increase your risk of developing cancer, but if it is known to cause tumors in animals, it makes sense to limit your intake whenever possible.

Acrylamide is found in crisps, biscuits, toast, chips, cereals, potatoes, coffee and many more products. One way to avoid high levels of consumption is by eating a healthy and balanced diet.

We’ll end this here with some advice from the FSA: – When making chips at home, they are cooked to a light golden colour. – Bread should be toasted to the lightest colour acceptable. – Manufacturers’ instructions for frying or oven-heating foods, (such as chips), should be followed carefully.

If you would like help with your diet, email


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