Are you at a risk of cancer by eating French Fries?

Are you at a risk of cancer by eating French Fries?

Deep frying is a cooking method that can be used to cook foods for example potato chips, chicken, and fish. However, research has proved that some dubious effects are connected with it.

Foods including fried products, such as French fries, fried fish, and chicken etc. is common all over the world. Previously fried foods items were not that much popular but now they have become more or less regular component of our diet.

In deep frying food is submerged in extremely hot oil until it reaches a safe minimum internal temperature. As an indication of proper deep frying, the food gets properly cooked till center and a layer develops on it which makes it quite crispy on the outside.

French fries and cancer risk

Deep frying provides a high temperature for food to cook, it serves the purpose of fast cooking but it has been reported that regular consumption of fried products such as french fries and other deep-fried foods is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

According to a study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the effects of such diseases appear stronger in form of more aggressive associated diseases which may prove lethal to health.

It has been studied that cooking at high temperatures changes the chemical composition by a chemical reaction between sugars and amino acid named as “Asparagine” in food.

This reaction results in the formation of harmful compound acrylamide. Cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, and microwaving are less likely to trigger such reactions and form such harmful compounds unlike other various cooking methods including frying, baking, broiling, and roasting.


Longer cooking time also increases the amount of acrylamide in food. Acrylamide is found mainly in plant foods, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. French fries, potato chips and other foods high in carbohydrates have been reported to have high level of acrylamide.

Increased consumption of fried foods may increase the risk of laryngeal cancer in humans. The formation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons has precarious effects related to normal body function.

All oils have a “smoke point” when they reach a specific temperature. Heating it above smoke point is quite dangerous for health. At this point, the oil basically begins to break down and starts giving a foul odor and taste.

These mentioned oils are safe to use as they have a high smoke point. Majorly these are peanut, corn, sunflower, canola and vegetable oil. Each of this oil is rich in nutrients which gives them unique taste and also making it safe to use for deep frying.

Peanut      450 °F
Canola      435 °F
Sunflower       410 °F


French fries and cancer risk

Maintain the proper temperature to fry food safely. Always start frying when the oil has reached its correct temperature. Following temperatures must be maintained in order to fry food safely.

Food Cooking time Oil temperature
Chicken Pieces 13 – 20 minutes 375 °F
Shrimp 4 – 6 minutes 320 °F
Chicken Fingers 6 – 8 minutes 350 °F
Fish Fillets 3 – 5 minutes 320 °F


It is important to concern food safety and to evaluate the carcinogenicity of fried food consumption. The end users of various products must focus on health implications (cancer) and food safety (in the context of chemical carcinogens).


Andrea White

As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.

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