Is Burnt Food Bad for Your Health?

Many of us are pondering whether eating burnt food leads to unhealthy consequences. Is it true that burnt food causes cancer? Should we completely give up on eating our favourite French fries, barbecued ribs and potato chips?


    Grilled or barbecued food sounds great to many of us. We also very much enjoy our mug of coffee made from roasted coffee beans first thing in the morning. French fries are a must to many of us who hit the restaurants and cafés for lunch, dinner and other meals. Many of us are so accustomed to eating food that has been cooked at high temperatures, especially the ones that have charred or burnt a little bit. Surely some of us are wondering whether burnt food is really bad for our health; especially when there is an on-going claim that burnt food causes cancer. To answer this question we have to know what happens to food when they are overcooked or burnt.

Burnt food and its nutritional value

            A big disadvantage of burning food, such as when the food is being barbecued, grilled, pan-fried, deep-fried or broiled, is that on overcooking, the food loses many of its beneficial nutrients. Overcooking food, destroys nutrients such as water soluble vitamins, denatures proteins, and changes the structure of fats and carbohydrates, ridding the food of the benefits these vital nutrients bring to food. Altered structure of carbohydrates results in an increase in the glycaemic index of the food. When the structure of fats such as those found in vegetable oils change due to overcooking or reheating, unhealthy fats such as trans fats are created. In this regard, those who are opting to eat healthily should definitely avoid eating burnt food on a regular basis.

Burnt food and carcinogens

            High temperature cooking of meats, as in pan-frying, grilling, barbecuing etc., creates carcinogenic compounds called Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). They are produced in higher quantities if the food is cooked for a long time or if the food is directly exposed to open flame. The amount of these compounds in cooked food depends on the method and duration of cooking. It is found that significant amounts of HCAs are not seen in foods other than meat that is cooked at high temperatures. Cooking methods other than grilling or barbecuing, for example smoking of fish or meat, can also lead to the formation of PAHs.

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  1. the best and most nutritious way to eat foods is raw…this is what i learnt in a yoga class…fruits and veggies that is. For meats and fish, steaming is good option.

  2. I agree. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables may be the safest way to supplement your body with nutrients.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Important information that everyone should know about. Learn new things. Thanks!

  4. Very informative article to share. Thank you so much for the share. Keep it up.

  5. How fascinating. Thanks for a great share. Liked the way you wrote it too. Also a nice layout of the page.

  6. burnt food, not good. but occasionally if taken i think it’d be OK. after all the flavor and taste is hard to ignore for me.

  7. Very nice:)

  8. Nice article. Thanks for the information. :D Shows how much a balanced diet is necessary.

  9. Burnt food is an option when accidents happen in the kitchen and the stomach has lost its tolerance.But healthy eating is a must!
    Thanks Safa!

  10. I love brunt food but I have never considered about these points.

  11. Very good information.

  12. So informative thanks…..

  13. Very interesting article.

  14. Very good

  15. valid points

  16. Good article. It should be better if we eat fruit and vegetable, more fresh and more healthy

  17. Excellent information. In India smoked and slightly burnt food is popular. Aubergine is used a lot in burnt cooking.

  18. I’ve seen all of your articles. it is full knowledge :)

  19. I’ll try to remember your advice… I love those foods very much hahaha ^_^

  20. Cheers on this one

  21. nice

  22. nice work

  23. interesting article.

  24. good info thanks Safa

  25. hearsay says it can cause cancer.

  26. not good

  27. 20 click for you

  28. It really sucks to give up the taste…

  29. Overcooking and burning food is very unhealthy and when I barbecue my food it is never blackened or burnt.

  30. Overcooking vegetables takes the nutrients out.
    Great information you give on what the temperature needs are to various food items, well written article!

  31. great share thanks

  32. Too much fried food is bad for your health.

  33. This is brilliantly written thanks
    thanks for the support.#

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