Cut your cancer risk at the grill this summer

Charred meat may up your risk of cancer.

The American Institute for Cancer Research has issued warnings about grilling meat, fish and poultry — including the beloved backyard barbecue burger.

“There is enough experimental evidence to suggest that grilling certain foods increases cancer risk,” says AICR dietitian Alice Bender, M.S., R.D. “Muscle meats are the problem; substances are formed when these are grilled with intense heat. Cooking meats on any high temperature has the same effect — it’s just that grilling is traditionally done on high heat all the way and is therefore riskier.”

What happens is that intense heat causes a reaction in the muscle proteins and two carcinogens  — possibly DNA-altering, cancer-causing substances — form: heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The fattier the meat, the higher the risk. 

“When fat drips, it cause the flames to leap up and increases the temperature,” explains Bender.

There is no evidence of any risks with grilling non-meat items: “Eat all the charred veggies that you want,” Bender says, but never eat charred meats or fish. 

“It is very likely that it is carcinogenic,” she warns. “There’s enough evidence in lab studies to tell us that avoiding it is prudent. You can still have a backyard barbecue this summer. People are not going to give up their beloved burgers and steaks — just lessen the risks.”

How to grill safer

Bender offers these tips:
   
Use a marinade
“Marinating for 30 minutes or more reduces the formation of HCAs.”
   
Partially precook meat
“This will cut down the amount of time the meat is in high heat. Finish off on the grill for that cookout flavor.”
   
Use lower temperatures
“Grill slower and use a lower flame” to lessen the buildup of carcinogens.
   
Add more produce
Phytochemicals, a lot of which are said to ward off cancer, are abundant in produce.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.