|Grilling is recommended for people who are to avoid fats from cooked meat, fish and poultry by frying.|
This news article point us a fact that grilling can also make food toxic and can cause cancer.
There are suggestions however on what to do to minimize the risks. Take note of the tips so the next time you grill the meat or fish, you know what to do.
Here's the news from MSNBC.
If you like to sear your steak to a crisp, you could be playing with fire.
For people who are watching their weight, grilling lean meats, poultry and fish can be a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to frying. Unfortunately, the same grill — whether gas or charcoal — that gives food its mouth-watering barbecue taste can also turn your burger into a toxic meal.
Cooking over high flames turns chemicals found naturally in muscle meats and fish into cancer-causing substances known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Both have been linked to an increased risk of several cancers, including colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.
HCAs develop through a series of reactions between the amino acids and other compounds in meat. High-temperature cooking — over 300 degrees Fahrenheit — and the length of time a food is heated trigger their formation. PAHs get into food when dripping meat juices cause the grilling surface or coals to flare up, engulfing the meat or fish in fragrant, but toxic, vapors.
So, what's a griller to do?
“Keep grilling,” says Dave Grotto, R.D., a Chicago-area barbecue buff and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. It’s a great way to cook foods in a low-fat manner.”
Although the link between grilled meats and cancer in humans is still being investigated, if you follow these six easy tips, you can significantly cut your risk:
* Marinate before grilling. It can reduce HCA formation in meat and fish by up to 99 percent, says Grotto. Herbs are helpful, too. Rosemary, garlic and sage may block the formation of both HCAs and PAHs in and on the food. Add the seasonings to light marinades or as ingredients to other dishes you serve with your grilled foods. A citrus or olive oil marinade can also counteract HCA buildup.
* Turn down the heat. High-temperature cooking, including frying, broiling and barbecuing, not only can turn your meat into shoe leather, it's fuel for the carcinogens. Allow coals to cool to embers before cooking. On a gas grill, move the rack up a notch to distance foods from the flames. “Placing a barrier between your foods and the grill, such as cooking foods in an aluminum pan on top of the grilling rack, works well, too,” says Grotto.
* Think small. Smaller cuts spend less time over the flame than big slabs of meat. Flip them frequently, too. Turning meat over every minute greatly reduces HCAs. Use tongs to turn foods. “Puncturing meats with a fork may cause juices to flow and drip on to the coals,” Grotto advises.
* Avoid overcooking foods. The longer you grill your meat, the more the carcinogens develop. Undercooking meat can be dangerous, too. To avoid the risk of harmful bacteria such as E. coli, be sure to grill meats to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
* Pre-cook foods. Microwaving meats for a couple of minutes before placing them on the grill can cut the effects of HCAs about 90 percent. The microwave draws liquid out of the meat, which in turn reduces flare-ups on the grill.
* Partner grilled items with cancer fighters. Antioxidants and other phytonutrients in fruits (apples, grapes and berries), vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, onions) and even tea can stall or stop the chemicals' effects in the body.
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