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

Grilling Safety Tips and Cancer Prevention

What about avoiding flare-ups as much as possible while you’re BBQing?
Paying attention while you’re BBQing helps to lessen the likelihood of flare-ups, intense smoking, and charring is helpful too, which can result in healthier meals.

What about marinating our foods prior to BBQing it? Does that have any impact?
Yes, definitely. Certain types of ingredients used in marinating foods can really impact the formation of carcinogens.

Marinate foods like meat in olive oil and lemon juice-based marinades. Research shows that these two items can reduce the formation of the cancer-causing compounds by up to 99 percent while cooking. Not to mention that they tenderize the meat, add great flavor, and help keep it moist during cooking.

Scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that herbs in a particular family used in marinades drastically reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines. These herbs include: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Simply use one or more of these herbs, preferably fresh, in a marinade prior to and during cooking. Fortunately, they add tremendous flavor so most people won’t even know you’re making they’re BBQed food healthier.

Related: 5 Marinades for Grilled Vegetables

What about barbecued vegetables? Are they a healthy option?
Yes, as long as you avoid overcooking them. The longer they cook the more certain vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex vitamins break down. So don’t overcook them. Also, avoid eating any charred parts of the vegetables.

One of the easiest ways to make BBQing healthier is to add vegetables as much as possible. Making kebabs is a great way to do this. By alternating lean meat and vegetables, the veggies will not only add flavor, they’ll also help to keep the meat moist and add fiber and nutrients.

Related: Classic Grilled Veggies

Does keeping your grill clean prior to cooking help as well?
Definitely. It’s important to keep your grill clean prior to every use. Not only is it more appetizing to eat food that’s been cooked on a clean grill, but you’ll be lessening the amount of char you consume. 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, it’s best to reduce your exposure as much as possible.

Do you have any final advice about healthy grilling?
Yes, I love BBQed food as much as the next person. So, I think it’s important to remember that you don’t have to give up BBQed food if you’re trying to eat healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle. You can have your grilled food and enjoy it too, along with your health by following the simple tips I mentioned like choosing lean meat (if you’re eating meat at all), marinating food in olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs and adding more veggies to the grill.

9 Tips for a Healthy BBQ
6 Meatless BBQ Recipes

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

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
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!

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

vinegar and water will clean most things and believe it or not Olive oil will clean greasy things or…

Thanks Anthony for sharing this great article.

Bright Blessings to the birdwatcher, the cows and all who helped this little one!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

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