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Fear of the presence of carcinogenic compounds in foods that children eat


The health of our children becomes, from the moment the pregnancy is confirmed, one of the greatest concerns of parents. In this regard, one of the most frightening problems is the presence in food of compounds that can cause cancer.

Whether we have been told about it or have read something about it, we develop certain fear of carcinogenic compounds in the food children eat.

For a food to be considered carcinogenic, there must be scientific evidence to directly correlate its consumption with the appearance of certain types of cancer, as well as evidence on the process by which this consumption triggers the appearance of cancer cells, which is not easy.

In general, and given the complexity of this research, we add the term "potentially" when there is not enough evidence - or the results are not statistically significant - to support it, but if there is a trend that indicates that excessive consumption may contribute to development of the disease. Most likely, if the evidence were sufficient, the compound would have already been withdrawn from the market by the health authorities, while those that are formed within the food itself through cooking, are our responsibility.

But what is considered potentially carcinogenic in food?

- Like the glycidol that appears after refining the oils at high temperatures, other compounds are also dangerous, such as acrylamide, which is generated in products rich in carbohydrates through toasting, such as breakfast toast, heterocyclic amines or polycyclic hydrocarbons, present in meats cooked on barbecue or under the grill when it is they overcook, so we must be careful not only with food but also with the cooking processes we choose.

- What's more, some additives added to food, colorants, preservatives, stabilizers etc, have a relationship with the appearance of some types of cancer. Again, this relationship is not sufficiently proven, so the vast majority are admitted as safe.

- Some pickles, such as pickles, depending on the preservation method (if they are made in vinegar or in brine they are generally safe) they can contain potentially carcinogenic substances.

- Sugar is another of the foods that are related, potentially, with the appearance of cancer, in addition to numerous other diseases, such as heart problems or diabetes.

- Red meats and more specifically processed meats (sausages and cold cuts with a large amount of preservatives) are also on the black list due to possible chemicals they contain, which can generate nitrosamines, a compound with a high carcinogenic potential.

The danger of these foods is variable, and while some should be avoided as much as possible, such as processed meats or sugar, the rest, including red meats, can be eaten in moderation.

You can read more articles similar to Fear of the presence of carcinogenic compounds in foods that children eat, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.


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