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Medicineworld.org: Tips To Reduce Your Cancer Risk While Grilling

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Tips To Reduce Your Cancer Risk While Grilling

Tips To Reduce Your Cancer Risk While Grilling
Summer is officially here and it's time to fire up the grill. But there's something you should know about some of your summertime favorites. All that barbecuing could be cooking up chemicals that may increase your risk of cancer. As per the American Institute for Cancer Research, these chemicals may be linked to breast, stomach, prostate, and colon cancer.

But Dana-Farber Cancer Institute nutritionist Stephanie Vangsness, RD, LDN, CNSD, says that doesn't mean you have to give up those summertime favorites like burgers, steaks, and ribs. "It's really about being careful and making wise choices."

There are two risk factors to keep in mind. The high heat of grilling reacts with proteins in red meat, poultry, and fish to create heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Studies have linked these chemicals to cancer.

Another form of cancer-causing agents, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are found in the smoke. They form when fat and juices from meat products drip on to the heat source. As the smoke rises, it can stick to the surface of the meat.

What can you do to lower your risk? Here are some tips to make sure your summer grilling is safe.

Prep the meat.

Choose lean cuts of meat instead of high-fat varieties, such as ribs and sausage. Trim all excess fat and remove the skin.

When using marinades, thinner is better. Thicker marinades have a tendency to char, possibly increasing exposure to carcinogenic compounds.

Look for marinades that contain vinegar and/or lemon. They actually create a protective barrier around the meat.

Limit time, limit exposure.

Partially cook meat and fish in a microwave for 60 to 90 seconds on high before grilling and then discard juices. This will limit the time they need to cook and reduce risk of smoke flare-ups.

Grilling techniques.

Flip burgers often, at least once every minute.

Place food at least six inches away from the heat source.

Create a barrier to prevent juices from spilling and producing harmful smoke, such as lining the grill with aluminum foil that has holes poked in it or cooking on cedar planks.

Choose wisely.
  • Lean meats create less dripping and less smoke. Trim excess fat, and remove skin from poultry.
  • Choose smaller cuts, like kabobs; they take less time to cook.
  • try grilling your favorite vegetables.

Above all, Vangsness says, "People need to put this into perspective. If you're grilling and following the proper safety tips, the risk of getting cancer from grilling food is extremely low." She stresses the best thing you can do is eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables that contain protective antioxidants. "Not having vegetables is probably the biggest risk factor," says Vangsness.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), a designated comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.



Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Summer is officially here and it's time to fire up the grill. But there's something you should know about some of your summertime favorites. All that barbecuing could be cooking up chemicals that may increase your risk of cancer. As per the American Institute for Cancer Research, these chemicals may be linked to breast, stomach, prostate, and colon cancer.

Medicineworld.org: Tips To Reduce Your Cancer Risk While Grilling

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