Summer Safe Grilling Guide

Firing up the grill and throwing on a burger for many is a 4th of July tradition. But research suggests a link between eating grilled meats, especially those that are well done, and the risk for some types of cancer.

Two classes of carcinogens are found in high concentrations in grilled meats. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are formed when muscle meats, including beef, pork, poultry and fish, are cooked at a high temperature, as they are when grilled. Another class of carcinogens, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are formed on the surface of meats by smoke and flame flares which occur when fat and juices drip down onto the heat source below.

Safe Grilling Guide

Here are some tips to minimize your exposure to carcinogens when grilling meats:

Keep it Short: Since carcinogens continue to build as meat stays on the grill, try to reduce the meat’s time on the grill. So you will need to remove the meat before it’s well done. Another solution is to start the cooking process in the microwave, then finish on the grill.

Go Lean: To reduce grill flare ups, choose lean cuts of meat, and trim any visible fat before grilling.

Soak in the Flavor: Marinate your meats with herbs. Some studies have found that marinating reduces the build up of HCAs.

Discard Char: Since carcinogens are concentrated in charred portions of meats, trim and discard those pieces before eating.

Gof for the Sides: Fill your plate with side dishes), and leave about 1/4 of your plate for the grilled meat. By keeping the meat portion small, you will reduce your carcinogen exposure.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cancer Prevention

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