Summer is a great time to be outside with family and fire up the grill for some quick and easy meals. But before you start charring your meats there are a few things you should know. Some studies based on food frequency questionnaires have found an association with certain cancers and a high consumption of meats that are fried, well done, or barbecued. Additionally, animal studies show that when heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (produced from meats cooked at high temperatures or over an open flame) are supplemented in the diet of rodents, several types of tumors or cancers could form. Of note, the amount supplemented in the rodents diets were very high. There are a few things you can do to help decrease your intake of the carcinogens that can form during the grilling process:
1. Avoid charring your meats. If there is a burnt spot, cut it off.
2. Choose leaner meats to help prevent the dripping of grease into the open flame.
3. Don’t reuse the drippings for gravy or sauces.
4. Continually turn meat over.
5. Don’t just eat a pile of meat, throw some veggies or pineapple on the grill.
6. Don’t grill your meat everyday, but if you do find yourself grilling a lot, try cooking your meat in the oven for a little bit first to reduce the cooking time on the grill.
Have a safe and healthy summer!