Author Topic: If you are worried about eating burnt food...  (Read 9076 times)

Offline dee

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If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« on: March 19, 2011, 08:54:12 AM »
don't. Apparently, it is good for you:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20705126

Offline thomas_seay

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 08:34:04 AM »
Pardon my ignorance but is that what they are referring to by "Advanced glycation end products"?  If so, then given my cooking skills, this is indeed good news!

Offline dee

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 02:15:43 PM »
If ever you heard not to eat burnt food because it was carcinogenic, AGEs are to blame. Like when food gets brown or burnt, that's because of AGEs.

Anyway, your body produces them internally all the time, and having a controlled exposure to AGEs occasionally through cooking seems to benefit how your body handles them.

If anyone wants to read more on it, there's a lot of info at beyondveg.com of the whole raw vs cooked debate.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 03:36:36 PM »
If ever you heard not to eat burnt food because it was carcinogenic, AGEs are to blame. Like when food gets brown or burnt, that's because of AGEs.

Anyway, your body produces them internally all the time, and having a controlled exposure to AGEs occasionally through cooking seems to benefit how your body handles them.

If anyone wants to read more on it, there's a lot of info at beyondveg.com of the whole raw vs cooked debate.

Yes, I think there is a huge difference between glycating your own proteins with dietary sugars (which can lead to diabetes and Alzheimer's) and eating glycated or charred protein byproducts such as benzopyrenes.   The difference is night and day:  the former is damaging your own tissues, the latter is stimulating your xenobiotic metabolism to gear up and process an incoming raw material.

It's true that benzopyrenes (charred protein byproducts) have been found carcinogenic in single cell assays.  But these reductionist assays leave out any system-wide metabolic defenses!  Interestingly, while benzopyrenes can cause cancer at high doses, they also induce Cytochrome P4501A1, a oxygenase enzyme that enables xenobiotic detoxification as part of the Phase I enzyme system:

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.39.1.103

If you combine upregulation of P4501A1 with induction of the Phase II system (via Nrf2), then you generate a protective effect.  In other words, eat some good colorful veggies along with your overcooked meat or burnt toast! Other hormetic stresses like intermittent fasting, intense exercise and cold showers are probably just as good as the veggies.

I've always been skeptical of the idea that you shouldn't eat charred meat because it's carcinogenic. Seems to me that our ancestors would have been much more perishable than they seem to have been.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 06:25:52 AM by Todd Becker »

Offline dee

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 04:31:53 AM »
I've always been skeptical of the idea that you shouldn't eat charred meat because it's carcinogenic. Seems to me that our ancestors would have been much more perishable than they seem to have been.

Haha. I just wanted justification to eat my charred burgers. I went researching how long man has been cooking with fire to try and guess if we had time to evolve defense mechanisms, and found the paper.

Offline thomas_seay

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 09:11:28 AM »
What implications does this have for cooking with microwave ovens?

Offline dee

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 12:58:44 AM »
From what I understand, this has nothing to do with microwave ovens. It's more for when things get brown or black when cooking. Even though, if you're worried about anything from microwave ovens, this is just more evidence that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Offline UrsusMinor

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Re: If you are worried about eating burnt food...
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 10:51:57 PM »
Check out the book "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" by Richard Wrangham. Never again will I think cooking is unnatural--or recent!

A great and revealing read. (Did you know that, contrary to bodybuilder and helath-food-nut myth, raw eggs are actually far less digestible and bioavailable than cooked eggs?)

After reading Wrangham'book, I've stopped worrying about cooking. Our far-distant ancestors cooked, and it's why our heads are shaped the way they are today.

The things they didn't cook, they fermented (alas, the fermenting part isn't in Wrangham's book). But the Paleo bias against grains, etc, probably ignores what our ancestors actually did with grains. The problem with grains might not be eating them per se, but the fact that we grind them up and eat them without inviting in microbes in the process. Ditto dairy.