Grilling is very popular in the United States during the summer, but it does come with some health consequences. We have heard the warnings about the increased cancer risk from eating grilled meat. AARP wrote a great article explaining how to cut down on the risk of cancer from your meat.
Dietitian Alice Bender, spokeswoman for the American Institute for Cancer Research, says the solution is what you cook and how you choose to cook it–always be aware of charring or burning the meat when you are grilling. Vicki Piper, senior clinical dietitian at Anderson, recommends cooking your meat slowly and at low heat, because high heat can cause carcinogenic substances to form in the meat.
Here are some tips:
- Marinade— By marinating the meat, it has a strong protective effect against cancer-causing compounds since the liquid helps prevent burning. Vinegar or lemon juice along with herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, and sage has the best effect against them. Plus, they make the meat more flavorful!
- Precook food—Attempt cooking the meat, poultry, or fish for a couple of minutes in the microwave before putting them on the grill. The less time on the grill equals the less contact to cancer-causing chemicals.
- Avoid flare-ups— Try to trim the excess fat so that it doesn’t drip and cause smoke and flare-ups which can burn your meat.
- Skip on the processed meat— Processed meats such as hot dogs can lead to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Researchers are not sure what causes it, but predicts it might be the nitrites or the nitrates added as preservatives or something that occurs during the processing.
Remember to clean your grill after or before using to prevent char bits sticking to your meat.