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Grilling Safety Tips and Cancer Prevention

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Grilling Safety Tips and Cancer Prevention

There are many signs of summer: camping, mosquitoes, road trips, and of course BBQ. If you’re like most people you’ve already cooked more than a few meals on the grill this summer. While BBQing can be a very healthy way to eat, there have also been concerns about it contributing to health concerns like cancer. Here are the answers to the most common BBQ-related questions I’m asked:

One of the biggest concerns about BBQing is the possible link between BBQed food and cancer. Is there a real risk?
There is a link between BBQed foods and the risk of cancer. Basically, when foods like meat are heated over high temperatures or come in contact with flames, certain compounds can form. These compounds are called: Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). These compounds are known carcinogens. But, you don’t need to remember their names to lessen your risk of exposure to them.

How can we enjoy grilled food and still reduce our exposure to these cancer-causing agents?
Well, there are actually a few easy things that you can do to reduce your exposure to these compounds.

Choose foods that are low in fat like 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. By choosing lean cuts of meat and of course vegetables which are naturally low in fat, you reduce the chance of these compounds forming at all.

You should also trim excess fat from meat prior to cooking it.

Next: Vegetables, marinades, and the connection with free radicals

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Read more: All recipes, Alternative Therapies, Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Entrees, General Health, Green Kitchen Tips, Health, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Simply Healthy, , , ,

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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.


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4:58AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Thank you so much for such a great blog.
Get more about Reocon

6:18AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012


6:28AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Thank you

9:49PM PDT on May 15, 2011

Thanks very much. I have heard for years that burned food on the BBQ can cause cancer. I never heard the reason until your informative article. Thanks again!

9:02AM PDT on Oct 29, 2010


9:39PM PDT on Oct 24, 2010


9:51AM PDT on Sep 22, 2010

thank you

9:35AM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

thanks for the info

1:40PM PDT on Sep 15, 2010


5:19PM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Useful info, thanks!

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