Melbourne: Potato salad can help cut the cancer risk posed by eating red meat, according to a new Aussie research.
Flinders University researchers have confirmed that the starch contained in cold, cooked potatoes can reduce the cancer risk associated with the consumption of red meat.
Jean Winter, a PhD student at the Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention, says the reduction was "significant".
"You can find this ``resistant starch`` in beans, green bananas, rice, pasta and potato," The Daily Telegraph quoted Winter, as saying.
She added: "Interestingly, there is more of this starch if you heat up the pasta or potato and then cool it down again.
"So if you are going to eat your barbecue make sure you have a bit of potato salad on the side."
The starch works by resisting digestion until it reaches the colon where it is eaten by bacteria.
The process releases beneficial molecules called short chain fatty acids.
For the study, Winter fed a red meat diet to a group of mice while another group were given a diet of red meat plus resistant starch.
After four weeks, their colons were examined for any signs of "DNA damage" - a precursor of cancer.
Winter said: "We found this starch could significantly lower the formation of these markers for DNA damage.
"And also lower the fermentation of the red meat in the colon ... which can produce toxic metabolites which can also be carcinogenic."