Cancer warning: The 'no-no' when making toast that could cause killer cancer risk

Woman eating toast

Burnt toast contains a dangerous chemical

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 03/11/2023

- 09:33

Britons have been given a cancer warning when making toast

How you make your toast has a lot to do with personal preferences, but most people will not burn toast on purpose.

Health experts have shared a terrifying warning about the link between burnt toast and cancer.

A consultant oncologist spoke about cancer as one of the biggest killers and explained burnt foods contain more acrylamide, a chemical associated with cancer.

While burning toast occasionally is unlikely to make a difference, repeatedly eating burnt toast could increase the risk, according to the health expert.

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"I’m afraid that from an oncologist’s point of view, burnt toast is actually a no-no," Professor Robert Thomas said.

"This is because grilling or baking starchy or sugary foods (such as bread) at high temperatures produces toxic compounds called acrylamides which can damage your DNA and put a big strain on your immune system over time.

"As a rule of thumb, the darker brown they are, the more acrylamides they contain.

"Consistently eating chargrilled or baked starchy foods over time will certainly help to increase your cancer risk," he told MailOnline.

Some studies have shown acrylamide has a direct link to cancer.

Studies in rodent models have found that acrylamide exposure increases the risk for several types of cancer, experts at the National Cancer Institute explained.

However, there is mixed evidence on whether the acrylamide from burnt food is enough to increase the risk of illness.

Cancer Research UK shared a word of reassurance and explained the acrylamide from burnt toast is "unlikely" to increase cancer risk.

Toast in toaster

Experts have mixed opinions on the dangers of burnt food


It said: "There isn’t enough good quality evidence to show this.

"For example, some studies aren’t able to accurately measure the amount of acrylamide in people’s diets."

Instead, the charity advised people to follow a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and with plenty of fibre.

It added: "You don’t need to avoid acrylamide to have a healthy, balanced diet. But some foods with acrylamide are high in calories, so can make it harder to keep a healthy weight."

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