As the warmer months of spring heat up to the hot days of summer, many of feel the urge to fire up the grill for a backyard barbeque.
Flavorful steaks, juicy hamburgers and a variety of kebabs find their way to plates, however, they do present some health risked that can be easily reduced by a few safe practices.
The most common risk associated with grilling is ingesting sizable amounts of known carcinogens present in the charred meat. The grill lines on your burger or steak may look appealing, but they are hiding heterocyclic amine, a known carcinogen.
High temperatures break down the meat, which then forms the heterocyclic amines. Try adding more vegetables to your grilling repertoire, they do not produce heterocyclic amines and grilling allows some nutrients to be more easily assimilated. Further, reduce your risk by keeping your grill grates free of charred debris.
Another risk associated with grilling and smoking meats is caused by the smoke itself. Fat dripping down on the hot coals form and release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (stick with us), also known carcinogens, into the air. They are then deposited on your meat and in your lungs. Choose leaner cuts of meat to reduce this risk.
Marinating meats reduces the amount of carcinogens created during the grilling process, however, store bought marinades contain many artificial ingredients and preservatives. Avoid these high sodium choices by creating your own marinades at home using herbs, spices, fresh juices and healthy oils.
Bastes and sauces do not provide the same protection that marinades do, but even these additions to the grilling menu can be detrimental to your health. Excessive sugar, chemical additives and preservatives are standard ingredients in conventionally produced sauces. These sauces produce a toxic overload for our liver to process, making us feel sluggish. Creating delicious, yet healthy sauces at home is a simple and healthy alternative.
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