Should you be worrying about acrylamide in your coffee?
You all must be aware of the fact that coffee has a lot of health benefits to offer. Drinking coffee enhances brain function, speeds up metabolism and improves your performance at exercise. According to studies, regular coffee intake lowers the risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and diabetes (type 2). Moreover, coffee drinkers live longer!
Amidst all the benefits, let me tell you that coffee has a chemical in it called acrylamide which is potentially harmful.
We are exposed to acrylamide on a day to day basis through second hand smoke and also personal care and household items. Now the question is how does it get into coffee? Well, it is formed during the process of roasting coffee beans.
How harmful is acrylamide?
Acrylamide can be harmful. Exposure to very high doses of the chemical at workplace causes nerve damage and nervous system disorders. Animal studies show that acrylamide causes cancer on consumption. But what needs to be noted is that it is the dosage that matters, what given to animals is 1000 to 1,00,000 times more than what we humans consume through our diet. Also, we metabolize the chemical differently. Acrylamide in food isn’t a new issue. Though it has been discovered now, it has been around since man began cooking!
Acrylamide in coffee
The quantity of acrylamide in coffee is not fixed, it varies greatly. In a study it was found that instant coffee has 100% more acrylamide than coffee that is fresh roasted. Generally, fresh coffee beans that are dark and well roasted are most likely to have the lowest amount of acrylamide.
Is consuming coffee risky?
So far the link between intake of acrylamide and cancer in human beings has not been proven at the same time it cannot be ruled out too.
However, drinking coffee doesn’t increase the risk of cancer. In fact, it reduces the risk of certain kinds of cancer. In one study it was found that those who increased the number of coffee cups to 2 per day witnessed a 40 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer.
Coffee has many more health benefits to which we cannot turn a blind eye!
Should you be avoiding coffee due to acrylamide?
Completely avoiding acrylamide is not possible. Presently we are consuming less amounts of acrylamide than what is recommended by health authorities.
It isn’t possible to buy coffee that totally free of acrylamide but the happy news is that the coffee companies are trying to find a practical solution in order to reduce acrylamide content in the coffee.
There is absolutely no need to say goodbye to coffee just because of the presence of acrylamide in it. Coffee has so many other benefits to offer.
Minimizing your acrylamide exposure
There is no proof that little amount of dietary acrylamide can cause harm but if you are concerned about it, here are some precautions that you should take:
- Stop smoking and don’t get exposed to second hand smoke.
- Frying is one cooking method that produces the maximum amount of acrylamide. So, minimize frying.
- Don’t burn food on your grill
- Don’t let your toasts burn. Toast it to a light brown colour.
- Don’t store potatoes in the fridge.
- Avoid instant coffee, choose dark roasted coffee instead.
The bottom line
The health benefits provided by coffee outweigh acrylamide’s negative effects. This means that you need not stop your coffee drinking habit. And if someone stops you while telling you that it contains acrylamide, just show them this post. 😛
Hope this post has been useful!
You may also like reading-
- Is Decaf Coffee Good For You?
- Coffee Withdrawal And The Symptoms
- Low Carb Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe
- Benefits Of Consuming Coffee Before A Workout