Stunning claim: These really common foods could give you cancer

You may think you're eating a healthy diet, but a new statement from the Food Standards Agency in the UK claims some foods may be sneaky unhealthy.

An alarming new report from the Food Standards Agency in the UK claims that we’re eating certain common foods that we may not realize raise our risk for cancer. Crispy potatoes, toast and other fried starchy foods could be pumping an unacceptable amount of acrylamide into our bodies, raising our risk for cancer, and the agency has put out new guidelines to help people reduce their risk.

Their latest missive, which encourages people to “Go for Gold,” says that people should be looking for a golden yellow color when toasting, frying, baking or roasting starchy foods, which may includes bread, potatoes and root vegetables. Going beyond gold raises the amount of acrylamide, a chemical that is toxic to DNA and has been shown to cause cancer in animals.

Increased acrylamide exposure could lead to a lifetime increased risk of cancer, as well as negative effects on the nervous and reproductive systems. However, it’s not been proven that acrylamide has a bad effect on humans, and the increased risk would come from heavy exposure to these types of foods.

“Go for Gold – as a general rule of thumb, aim for a golden yellow colour or lighter when frying, baking, toasting or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread,” the agency states. “Check the pack – follow the cooking instructions carefully when frying or oven-heating packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips. The on-pack instructions are designed to cook the product correctly. This ensures that you aren’t cooking starchy foods for too long or at temperatures which are too high. Eat a varied and balanced diet – while we can’t completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day will help reduce your risk of cancer. Don’t keep raw potatoes in the fridge – if you intend to roast or fry them. Storing raw potatoes in the fridge can increase overall acrylamide levels.”