How Suya Causes Cancer and 5 Limiting Measures You Can Do


In Nigeria, an average adult likes eating suya as an evening snack or dinner. Many delicacies have been developed which are mostly made from meat but over time, chicken is gradually getting popular.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO)declared that eating 50g of processed meat perhaps every day which suya belong can cause the development colorectal (bowel) cancer by 18%.

Many Nigerians suya lovers damn this report even though, a University Don on Nutrition, Professor Ignatius Onimawo had made such claim before but perhaps it went relatively unnoticed like the WHO announcement.

The Professor expressed a strong link between eating suya and exposing yourself to the risk of developing cancer. He explained

He explained what makes suya cancerous is highly from its preparation.

Like the way you plan an effective weight loss food,  ingredients and preparation play an important role in its success.

He said: “During preparation of suya, the meat is cooked over an open fire, and oils from the meat undergo chemical reactions that produce toxins that are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in nature. Meat cooked over open flame often causes the formation of toxic compounds known as Heterocyclic Amines, HCAs which are carcinogenic compounds. The more well-done meat is cooked, the higher concentration of carcinogenic HCAs can form”.

What I understand is, the more time your meat or chicken is exposed to this open flame, the more it will develop and absorb the carcinogenic HCAs and PAHs.

The Professor claim can further be explained and confirm by National Cancer Institute which stated that “Researchers have found that high consumption of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats were associated with increased risks of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer” after laboratory test on animals conducted confirmed the development of tumor in breast, colon, liver, skin, lung, prostate, and other organs.NigeriaSuya1

The Professor, however, advised that eating suya with foods rich in antioxidants such as vegetables, onions, ginger, red and black pepper will reduce the oxidative process likely to cause cancer.

In addition, based on this finding, there are limiting measures you can take to limit the HCAs and PAHs formation during preparation.

They are:

1. When you reduce direct exposure of suya meat to an open flame, hot metal surface and striving to reduce it cooking time especially at high temperatures, you’ll be reducing the HCA and PAH formation.

Thus, to maximize these causative factors (open flame, hot metal surface and cooking time), you can make the meat or chicken lean. You have to be creative about slicing it to a 1-inch width or lesser.

2. Use the microwave to cook the meat before exposing it to high temperature; this can further reduce the HCAs formation because it will need time to get the meat done.

3. Keep turning the meat over and over the heat than leaving it on the hot metal surface because it reduces the HCAs formation. WestSuya

4. Scraping the charred surface of suya can reduce HCAs and PAHs exposure.

5. When you strive as much as possible to limit the time suya will be exposed to an open flame with low to moderate temperature, this can also reduce the HCAs and PAHs formation.

It’s like the way you sauté some food.

Suya will involve the better practice of slicing the meat or chicken in a tiny way that within 9-15 seconds, the meat will be done and this is relatively the practice of Nigeria suya.

In conclusion, despite the affirmation that suya can be cancerous and with these preventive measures, it has been advised you consumed it moderately and in minimal quantity.

In addition, make sure you eat it along with vegetables, onions, and pepper; these antioxidants food will limit its risk to cancer.


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