Grilling Up a Safer 4th of July


HeadshotFireworks, family, friends, and barbecues all scream the Fourth of July in our neck of the woods. However, before lighting up the grill, take a few moments to prepare your delicious holiday feast with less toxins and without carcinogens. In a few simple steps, you can avoid cancer causing compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and advanced glycolytic enzymes (AGEs) from your regular grilling routine.

First, when choosing your meat, select grass fed options and avoid processed meats that contain nitrates. Grass fed meats are leaner, contain more omega 3s and less sugars while decreasing the creation of PAHs and AGEs. Before putting the meat on the grill, be sure to marinate it in antioxidant rich sources like citrus, red wine, vinegar, or herbs. It was found in a study done at the the Food Science Institute at the University of Kansas that this can cut the formation of HCAs by 88% in certain meats with others ranging in higher percentages as well.

Once moving onto the grill, keep the temperature low. Cooking at high heats while creating well done or charred meats contain higher levels of HCAs. Finally, avoid flaring from the grill to decrease PAHs and HCAs. Turn the meat frequently, cut smaller portions, and don’t over crowd the grill to avoid large flames coming up from underneath.

You can prevent a breast cancer diagnosis in the future while enjoying your favorite summertime traditions and celebrations! Have a happy and healthy 4th of July!

American Institute for Cancer Research
Journal of Food Science

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