Here is your quick guide to a healthier (and tastier) BBQ all summer long
Family and friends lounging around the yard, or pool in happy conversations. Iced drinks and bikini weather. Its what we love about summer weekends and holidays. And usually the whole event revolves around the delicious aromas of a BBQ grill. You want to enjoy these occasions, however you should be aware of the cancer causing risks associated with grilling meat and how to avoid them. Here are a few quick tips on how to elevate your grilling game to make it healthier and tastier.
As you probably know meat is protein. Duh. Well protein is made up of amino acids, like the famous one creatine. But meat also has some sugars and fat. Were talking beef, pork, fish, and poultry etc.
When you grill with high heat these muscle meats produce cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), particularly if it produces char mark. Also when fat drips into the grill, the resulting flames can cover food with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another chemical linked to cancer. That’s the same stuff found in cigarette smoke. Yah no bueno.
As a reference well-done meat contains 3.5 times more HCA than medium-rare meat. So for the guy that orders his steak ‘hockey puck’ (you know who you are) it maybe time to change. Just saying.
Also this one is going to hurt deep down. But we have to tell you just so you know… we're sorry… When you compare different types of meats, sadly (and tragically), the highest concentration of cancer causing HCAs and PAhs comes from bacon. The second highest is from fried pork, followed by beef and then chicken.
Side note, vegans will be happy, these cancer risks are not very high when grilling vegetables. In fact it a great idea to grill some veggies along with your meat. Even if you aren't vegan. They just taste good!
But hold on we're, not raining on your BBQ. The fix is easy and delicious
Its not hopeless! Just marinade. Studies have shown that marinating with the right stuff can cut down cancer causing risks by as much as 92-99 percent!
What’s the right stuff? Its not that cheap sweet BBQ sauce you buy at the gas station. In fact most commercial barbecue sauce with added sugar can actually triple the number of HCAs in meat.
In stead opt for an olive oil and light vinegar or lemon juice based dressing with antioxidants herbs and spices. Especially rosemary. But you can also use mint, sage, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and savory. Most of these herbs are rich in three compounds — carnosic acid, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid — all of which are potent antioxidants that produce anticancer action in grilled meats.
Even if you don’t have hours to marinate before grilling that’s ok. Even marinating for just a few minutes can give you all the benefits you need. Of coarse longer is better and tastier. One small point worth mentioning. Make sure your marinade covers the whole surface of the meat you are cooking. Both sides.
Once the meat is on the grill make sure to flip it often instead of just letting it get burnt. That way you will minimize cancer causing char build up.
Ok so take away:
Now go out there and enjoy your BBQ!
Clower, W. (2016, July 01). Slash Grilling Carcinogens by 99%. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://draxe.com/grilling-carcinogens/
Grilling Your Meat With THIS Herb Reduces the Risk of Carcinogens. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.cookinglight.com/news/grilling-carcinogens-cancer-risk
O'connor, A. (2010, May 31). The Claim: Rosemary Helps Reduce Toxins in Grilled Meat. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/health/01real.html
Puangsombat, K., & Smith, J. S. (2010, March). Inhibition of heterocyclic amine formation in beef patties by ethanolic extracts of rosemary. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20492265
Puangsombat, K., Gadgil, P., Houser, T. A., Hunt, M. C., & Smith, J. S. (2012, March). Occurrence of heterocyclic amines in cooked meat products. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129588
Salmon, C. P., Knize, M. G., & Felton, J. S. (1997, May). Effects of marinating on heterocyclic amine carcinogen formation in grilled chicken. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9216741
Www.facebook.com/northforkbison. (2016, December 29). Marinades for Bison Meat. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.northforkbison.com/marinades-bison-meat/