START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

10 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Barbecue

10 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Barbecue

Summer is here. With it come vacations, lush gardens, and barbecues with friends and family. Unfortunately, barbecued food has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.† But you can have your barbecue and your health too with if you follow these suggestions adapted from my e-book Cancer-Proof:

1.† Keep a watchful eye to avoid barbecue flare-ups and the resulting charring of your food.† Charred food is linked with the creation of carcinogens.

2.† Cook over lower temperatures. Use low to medium cooking temperatures. When foods like meat are heated over high temperatures or come in contact with flames, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can form. Both compounds are known carcinogens. Of course you donít need to pronounce them or spell them to reduce your risk of exposure to these carcinogens. Of course if youíre cooking meat or poultry always be sure that the inside temperature reaches a high enough temperature to kill microbes.

3.† If youíre cooking meat or poultry, marinate it in olive oil and lemon juice-based marinades. Research shows that these two items reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds by up to 99% while cooking, while adding flavor and helping to keep it moist.

4.† Choose naturally low fat foods like vegetables, lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish.† Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are primarily formed when fats are heated to high temperatures or fall into the flames and create smoke. Low fat foods reduce the chance of these compounds forming at all.

5.† Trim excess fat from meat prior to cooking it (for the same reason as number 4).

6.† Add fresh or dried herbs to cut your cancer risk. These herbs include:† basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Food Safety Consortium scientists at Kansas State University discovered that using basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, or sage in marinades drastically reduces the formation of HCAs.† Simply use one or more of these herbs, preferably fresh, in a marinade prior to and during cooking.† They reduce cancer risk and add tremendous flavor.

7.† Avoid overcooking vegetables.† The longer they cook the more certain vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex vitamins break down.† New research in Molecular Biology Reports shows that Vitamin C reduces the cancer-causing effects of HCAs.

8.† Add more vegetables to the grill. One of the easiest ways to cancer-proof your barbecue is to add more veggies.† Making kebabs is a great way to do this.† If youíre cooking meat on kebabs, the veggies will keep it moist and add fiber, flavor, and nutrients.

9.† Include cruciferous vegetables in every barbecue. New research in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention shows that cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates that form cancer-protective compounds known as isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have been shown to protect against HCAs and PAHs, making them especially great to cancer-proof your barbecue. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

10.† Clean your grill prior to every use. Not only is it more appetizing to eat food thatís been cooked on a clean grill, but youíll reduce the amount of char that youíll be eating.† The charred parts of food can cause free radical formation in your body and since free radicals are linked with premature aging, disease, and tissue damage, itís best to reduce your exposure as much as possible.

Related: Tips for Cleaning Your Grill Naturally

Itís easy to cancer-proof your next barbecue by taking these simple steps.† For more ways to stay cancer-free, check out my e-book Cancer-Proof.

Subscribe to my free e-magazine Worldís Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on my site, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

See: 8 Yummy Vegetarian Grilling Recipes

Read more: Health, Basics, Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Healthy Aging, Leukemia, Men's Health, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Women's Health, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
3:14AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

Thanks, although my biggest concern is from the flames/smoke, not the actual foods I use.

5:41PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013


8:08PM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

The healthiest way to enjoy barbecue is to enjoy it the way you like it with any kind of sauce cooked the way you moderation. Moderation means moderation.

9:18PM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

Thank you :)

8:12PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

great ideas and I love sprinkling a little of the herbs on the coals the smell is amazing.

8:31PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

The Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in charcoal briquette smoke causes epigenetic changes that lead directly to asthma. The smoke is very toxic and should not be breathed.

3:44AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

All make good sense! I love grilled veggies!

2:28AM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Thank you :)

3:50PM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Is there anything that doesn't cause cancer?

6:01AM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thanks for sharing.

Very helpful article thank you for sharing.

Some good ideas ☺



Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!