English: Preparing grill for grilling, grill with flames and cones. Česky: Příprava grilu pro grilování, gril s plameny a šiškami. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It's summer and the barbecue is all fired up. You can smell it from your neighbors backyard and you are salivating. Don't jump over the fence quite so fast. Think before you eat! The longer meat is cooked, the more dangerous it becomes.
Consider this: You are serving cancer-causing food from the grill.
The blackened areas on charred and grilled flesh foods (meat, poultry, fish) are a source of carcinogenic chemicals. These chemical directly damage DNA, our genetic material, and initiate mutations that can lead to the development of cancer.
When the proteins are heated to the point that the flesh starts to brown and blacken, you have the presence of heterocyclic amines (HCA), some of which are known carcinogens. HCAs form when extreme heat causes a chemical reaction between the amino acids naturally found in proteins and creatine found in muscle meats. HCAs are also found in broiled and well-done red meats. Other high-temperature cooking methods such as frying also produces\ these dangerous chemicals.
Diets with high exposures to HCAs are correlated with higher rates of cancers of the pancreas, colon and digestive tract. (Learn how to reduce risk of colon cancer naturally.)
HCAs can directly damage your DNA, initiating cancer. The highest levels of HCAs are found in grilled poultry, steaks, salmon grilled with the skin, well-done hamburgers and barbecued pork such as spare ribs.
And when the fat drips onto the coals and there is a flare, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another family that may contain carcinogens. are formed. The smoke carries these hydrocarbons and coat the food we eat. PAHs also form with charring. Exposure to PAHs are correlated with increased rates of stomach cancer.
Three groups of foods can form cancer-causing chemicals when grilled and blackened:
What to do to keep your family safe?
The safest thing to do is to give up grilling, frying, cooking at high temperatures, and overcooked and well-done meats
Use Alternate Cooking Methods
Eat More Colorful Fruits And Vegetables
Plant-based diets contain the fewest cancer promoters. Plant-based diets also provide an abundance of cancer-fighting plant chemicals. Plant-based diets reduce oxidative stress that leads to DNA damage. Plant-based diets lead to lower levels of inflammation which is an environment that is protective to the cells and the DNA, inhibiting cancer rather than promoting it.
Try grilling vegetables and fruits, which do not form cancer-causing chemicals when cooked at high heats.
Try grilled asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplants, onions, portobello mushrooms, even mangoes brushed with a little olive oil. Try soy burgers and veggie burgers instead of meat.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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