Main menu


Is Barbecuing Really Healthier?


Article Body:

People wont to question the nutritional effects of barbecuing because they were concerned about the fat content of traditional barbecue fare like hot dogs and hamburgers. That concern is valid, but it's easily avoided by substituting skinless chicken and fish.

Unfortunately, researchers say there's still another concern about the health impact of barbecuing any animal meats; once they are cooked within the intense heat of the barbecue, substances are formed that are clearly shown to be carcinogens (substances which will start the event of cancer). And these substances develop no matter whether low-fat or high-fat, meat or red meat is on the grill.

In a landmark report on diet and cancer risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) notes that as meat - red or white - is cooked, natural substances that it contains react under intense heat to make compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that are linked with increased cancer risk in some animal studies. The longer the cooking time and better the temperature, the more these carcinogenic substances formed.

Studies within the Journal of the National Cancer Institute have shown that folks who frequently eat heavily browned or alright done meat are three to 5 times more likely to develop breast, colon and stomach cancer than those that eat it less often. Studies of rodents demonstrated that these HCAs are distributed to mammary (breast) tissue and cause changes during a cell's genetic material. However, we do not have proof that this process occurs in people.

Does this mean that if you care about your health you want to banish the grill? Not necessarily. Researchers note that how people barbecue affects the risks. for instance , marinating meat or poultry even briefly before cooking reduces the quantity of HCAs formed by about 96 percent. Partially pre-cooking meat for 2 minutes within the microwave just before grilling prevents 90 percent of the HCAs normally formed.

Avoid the black char that always forms during grilling, since it's particularly concentrated in cancer-causing substances. Other carcinogens of concern come from the smoke. you'll limit the meat's contact with smoke and reduce this risk if you raise the grill a touch higher from the warmth and choose leaner meats and trim all visible fat so it can't drip and cause smoking. Placing food during a foil packet also prevents smoking.

The rest of your meal can reduce the risks of grilling also . Antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables and soy foods seem to dam a number of the damage HCAs do to cells. Studies from Oregon State University demonstrate that substances in tea increase the body's ability to detoxify and excrete HCA before they are doing their damage.

Look at the general balance of your meal. AICR recommends that at any meal, animal protein like meat, poultry and seafood should occupy no quite a 3rd of your plate. and that is very true when it's grilled. By limiting your meat portion, you limit your exposure to HCAs and other carcinogens. And by enjoying a healthy portion of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you get a lot of cancer-fighting, health-promoting nutrients and phytochemicals. If you would like to grill a number of these veggies, that's no problem, since the HCA reaction occurs only in foods with animal protein.