'Red meat cooked at high heat a cancer risk'

KUALA LUMPUR: The public should avoid eating red meat cooked at high temperature as the method poses a cancer risk.

According to National Cancer Society Malaysia (NSCM) president Dr Saunthari Somasundaram, consuming a high amount of such meat cooked in this way over a period of time could increase the risk of a person getting colon and breast cancer.
Cooking meat over high-temperature is normally done when one is pan frying or grilling the meat directly over an open flame.
She said meat cooked in this way produces a chemical known as Heterocyclic amines which is mutagenic, meaning it can damage the DNA thus raising the risk of one getting cancer.
She was asked yesterday to comment on a statement by Perak Consumers Association president Abd Rahman Said Alli that roadside stalls that cooked burgers over high heat were a cancer risk and urged the public to avoid eating these foods.
Dr Saunthari said that "in our society, having a fast food meal like burgers has become a way of life and is part of the daily diet... but taking too much is bad."
On a recent report that the Singapore government has banned a particular brand of burger, she said it was important to note its contents as well.
She said that burgers normally have a fat content of between 15 and 20 per cent and if consumed often, could cause obesity.
"Obesity itself is a cancer risk factor."


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