Thursday, June 7, 2007

Wham: Reduce Carcinogens by 90% Before Grilling Meats

With outdoor grilling now in full swing, it's a good time to look at some safe practices for using your barbeque. The June 2007 issue of the Harvard Health Letter reports that when meat is cooked at high temperatures, amino acids react with creatine to form heterocyclic amines, which appear to be cancer-causing. That’s why cooking meat by grilling, frying, or broiling can be a problem.

Grilling is double trouble because it also exposes meat to cancer-causing chemicals contained in the smoke that rises from burning coals and any drips of fat that cause flare-ups. How long the meat is cooked is also a factor in heterocyclic amine formation; longer cooking time means more heterocyclic amines. Depending on the temperature at which it’s cooked, meat roasted or baked in the oven may contain some heterocyclic amines, but it’s likely to be considerably less than in grilled, fried, or broiled meat.

But did you know that there is a way to reduce these cancer-causing byproducts by as much as 90%? Simply precook in the microwave: According to research, just two minutes of precooking in the microwave can have a very significant impact on your health.


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