Healthy Grilling: How to Grill Without Burning, Charring, or Carcinogens
When it’s too hot to turn on the kitchen stove, it can only mean one thing: It’s grilling season. But before heading outdoors to prepareeverymeal, we may want to consider some hamburger health hazards. Cooking meat at high temperatures—like grilling, or even roasting and frying—can cause chemical reactions that release some nasty toxins in the air (and our bodies). But before opting for a raw food diet out of pure fear, there are some ways to keep on grilling while staying out of harm’s way.
You're Grilling Me—The Need-to-Know
Throwing a sausage on the grill can cause some . The biggest worry is thatmany of the chemicals created have been linked to an .In fact, on over 3,000 women found those who consumed a large amount of grilled meat over the course of a year had a 47 percent higher risk of developing breast cancerCooked meat and risk of breast cancer--lifetime versus recent dietary intake. Steck, S.E., Gaudet, M.M., Eng, S.M., et al. Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Epidemiology. 2007 May;18(3):373-82.. In order to learn more about what's actually causing these health risks, we examined the main chemical reactions that occur when meat meets grill, and what the potentially harmful products of those reactions can do.
Top Chef—Your Action Plan
Unlike meat, veggies when cooked to a crisp.Still, there’s no need to become a vegetarian or toss the grill completely. Try these safer ways to cook up a storm and stay safe in the process:
Grilling meat at high temperatures can release harmful chemicals into the air and our bodies. Luckily, there are ways to prepare meat safely without leaving the grill behind.
Article originally published August 2012. Updated May 2013.
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