Is it true that well-cooked meat may increase my risk of certain types of cancer?

A cancer-promoting substance called heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) form when meat is cooked at a high temperature. Also, when fat drips into the charcoal fire, substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) form. A diet that is high in meat cooked by barbecuing, pan-frying, or grilling can increase risk of cancers of the digestive system. In addition, a recent study published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reviewed the possible connection of eating well-cooked meat and risk of pancreatic cancer.

To reduce your risk of exposure to these chemicals, aim to have 3/4ths of your plate consist of generous portions of plant-based foods, leaving a smaller portion of medium cooked meat. Try marinating meat first before you grill, which can help prevent formation of HCA’s. Pre-cooking meat for 60-90 seconds in the microwave can also reduce exposure to these compounds.

Login to Favorite