Is Liquid Smoke Bad For You?
Also Known As: condensed smoke
Liquid smoke is most likely not bad for you. Although there may be a risk of cancer in the long-term due to the presence of PAHs, more research is needed to make this conclusive.
View Full Grading System
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Side effects are rare. Things rated an 'A+' are typically necessary for survival (for example, water).
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. A few harmful qualities may be associated, but only under certain circumstances such as an allergic reaction.
Very healthy and numerous health benefits. Harmful qualities may be associated, but aren't usually serious.
It is important to note that even the best things in life can become bad in immoderate amounts. So, although something may be rated an 'A+', overconsumption/overdoing can bring unwanted effects.
Very beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B+' may have a few harmful qualities to pay attention to.
Overall beneficial to your health. Things rated a 'B' may have some harmful qualities to pay attention to.
More beneficial to your health than not. However, harmful qualities are most likely associated and shouldn't be overlooked.
The main difference between category 'A' and category 'B' is the harmful qualities typically present in 'B' items. Serious side effects are usually uncommon, but are still possible and should be taken note of.
Both beneficial and harmful qualities associated. Things rated a 'C+' are typically a bit more on the beneficial side. Still, moderation is important.
A fairly even ratio of beneficial and harmful qualities. Moderation is important. Very general topics that can lean towards both sides of the spectrum will be placed here as well. Rice, for example, can be good or bad depending on the type.
More harmful than beneficial. Side effects are common, especially when consumed/done excessively. Moderation is very important.
Category 'C' usually denotes to both good and bad qualities. When it comes to this category, it is important to keep this word in mind: moderation.
Harmful to your health. Although benefits may be associated, the bad most likely outweighs the good. Moderation is very important.
Harmful to your health. A few benefits may be associated, but the bad outweighs the good. Moderation is extremely important.
Harmful to your health. Very few, if any, benefits are present. Things in this category should be avoided as much as possible.
Category 'D' is typically for things that are more harmful than beneficial. While consuming/doing something unhealthy once in a blue moon shouldn't hurt, we definitely recommend eliminating 'D' items as a regular part of your routine/diet.
Category 'F' is for things that fail to bring anything beneficial to the table, and are very harmful to your health. We recommend completely avoiding anything in this category. Long-term side effects of 'F' items are usually very serious.
'N' stands for neutral. Things placed into this category are generally (a) neither good nor bad for you, or (b) lack the necessary evidence to reach any conclusions.
Liquid smoke is usually made from smoke coming off of wood chips that is captured and condensed inside of a container. While this preserves the smoky flavoring, it also may lead to a risk of carcinogenic substances known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) being present. PAHs are also present when you cook over a cool grill. Studies show that liquid smoke increases the activity of P53, which is an indicator of damage done to the DNA. P53 is a protein molecule that binds to DNA.
Now, don't rush to discard all of your liquid smoke products and take to boycotting just yet. First, PAHs are present in a very small quantity and with proper preparation (i.e. adding marinade or spice), are largely neutralized.
However, if any carcinogenic compounds at all being in your food is a concern for you - there may still be an option available. Research concerning liquid smoke taken from rice hulls looks promising. When procured from rice, liquid smoke has antioxidants, anti-allergens, and anti-inflammatory properties without the PAHs that come from wood smoke. There's still research going on to determine how safe it is, but this is definitely an area that will be important to monitor.
Apart from the possible health benefits of rice-based liquid smoke, there are no other health benefits. Then again, liquid smoke is a flavoring and not a meal.
Possible long-term side effects
Commonly found in
- barbecue sauce
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