I Didn’t Know Grilling Caused Cancer!
Last time we were talking about using marinades for flavoring foods, and included several recipes. Many times people use marinades for grilling meats and veggies. Did you know that there is a link between eating grilled meat and cancer?
At this point, you might be thinking "but grilling is supposed to be a healthy, low-fat way to prepare meat!"
Here’s the bottom line: Grilling is a healthy way to prepare food, and is a great option if done right.
How Does Grilling Cause Cancer?
So what is the science regarding the link between grilling and cancer?
According to AICR, grilling can cause meats like steak, poultry and fish to produce cancer causing compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines). HCAs have been shown to cause tumors in animals and are thought to increase the risk of breast, colon, stomach, and prostate cancer.
Another cancer causing substance, PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) is formed when fat from the meat drips onto coals. This is then put on the meat during smoking or flare-ups. The charred parts of the meat are where the cancer-causing chemicals are mostly found.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about these compounds forming on foods that aren’t meat. When other foods burn, like veggies or grains, there are far less HCAs and PAHs formed. Also, the technique of ‘blackening’ a food doesn’t form these compounds. Blackening burns the spices, not the meat.
How Can I Grill the Healthy Way?
Since the biggest risk in grilling is with meats, this is another reason to try grilling meatless!
Stay tuned for the next post: Grilling the Healthy Way! I will give you the practical tips on how to have great tasting grilled foods without increasing your risk for cancer.
Have a great weekend!