Tag Archives: fast foods

Hold the fries and reduce the risk of prostate cancer

FoodFacts.com has never been a fan of fried food, especially those from fast food chains. There are plenty of reasons … high fat and sodium content and a variety of controversial ingredients being a few. Today we read some new information regarding deep fried foods that should give everyone pause before deciding to dig in.

Coming out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research center, a new study is showing a link between regular consumption of deep-fried foods, like french-fries, fried chicken and doughnuts and a higher risk for prostate cancer. In addition, this association seems to be a bit stronger in regards to more aggressive forms of the disease.

Deep-fried food consumption any more than once a week may raise prostate cancer risk. Men who indicated that they eat French fries, fried chicken, fried fish or doughnuts at least once a week were at an increased risk for prostate cancer in comparison to those men who said they ate these foods less than once a month.

In fact, men who reported eating one or more of these foods more than once weekly showed an increased prostate cancer risk from 30 to 307%. And that weekly consumption was associated with a more aggressive form of the cancer. Researchers considered factors like age, race, family cancer history, and BMI when figuring the association.

It is thought that deep frying may incite the formation of carcinogens in food. When oil is heated to the proper temperature for deep frying carcinogenic compounds can form. These would include acrylamide which is found in carb-heavy foods like French fries, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which form when meats are cooked at high temperatures, aldehyde (a compound found in perfumes) and acrolein which is a chemical in herbicides. All of these compounds are toxic and increase with the recycling of the oils used for frying (a common practice in fast food restaurants). In addition, foods cooked at high temperatures contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts, known as AGEs. These have been linked to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Deep fried foods contain among the highest levels of AGEs.

This new study reviewed data from prior studies that involved over 1500 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 1400 healthy men of similar age. All of the men involved were Caucasian and African-American from the Seattle area. They ranged in age from 25 to 74. Participants filled out questionnaires about their usual food choices, including deep-fried foods. While deep-fried foods have previously been linked with other cancers, including breast, lung, pancreas, head, neck and esophagus, none had ever looked at the risks they may pose for prostate cancer.

The study acknowledges that deep-fried foods are usually eaten outside the home, and therefore may point to a high consumption of fast foods in relationship to the development of prostate cancer.

FoodFacts.com wants to reiterate that every consumer should think twice before sitting down to a meal at a fast food restaurant. Fast food meals contain too many controversial additives to count, contain tremendous levels of fat and sodium, and because the deep-fried options are cooked at high heat levels, can contain carcinogenic compounds that have been linked to numerous forms of cancer … prostate cancer being the most recent association. It’s really not worth it.

Read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128142849.htm

Fast Foods and Food Stamps?

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Approximately 45 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which provides food stamps to purchase produce, meats, dairy, breads, and packaged foods. There has been much controversy over which foods should actually be allowed to be purchased with food stamps based on nutritional value. Currently, items such as sodas, candy, and chips are able to be purchased, despite seeing trends in the rising obesity epidemic which is largely seen in low-income communities.

Recently, the Yum! Corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s have been lobbying to have their fast food restaurants included within food stamp programs. They’ve caught on to the increasing use of food stamps during these rough economic years and would like to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What are people saying about this? Some anti-hunger coalitions are actually encouraging it! They’re reasoning, not everyone can get to a grocery store, so a fast food restaurant may be the optimal choice for some. At Foodfacts.com, we’re aware that many people are facing a tough financial time. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to recommend a 2 minute walk to get a KFC Double Down, when you may have some access to whole foods with proper nutritional value.

In good news, many public health organizations are rallying against this movement. They argue that the more revenue these fast-food chains bring in, the more health complications we see, and the higher price we pay later on. Try to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible!