Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Light Your Grills Without Fear

Vulgar, huh? The Zestzfulness Team thought this picture will serve as a cogent reminder to avoid processed meat in your BBQ.....and gents, make sure you don't stand too close to the grill.

Experts say small changes in barbecue habits can counter cancer risk

Researchers from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center say that small changes in what people grill and how they do it could go a long way twoard lowering their risk of cancer

"The good news is that you can do something to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer," said Sally Scroggs, health education manager at M.D. Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center, in a news release from the center. "And, making just a few cooking adjustments when grilling can play a part in prevention."

She offered the following tips for a healthier barbecue:

  • Avoid hot dogs and other processed meats. Processed meats, such as bacon, ham, salami, sausage and hot dogs, can increase a person's risk for colorectal cancer and should be kept off the menu. Cancer-causing agents form when these meats are preserved and can damage people's DNA, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
  • Cut down on red meat. Eating too much red meat, such as steak or hamburgers, can increase a person's risk of cancer. Grill fish and skinless chicken instead, and limit your red meat consumption to three six-ounce servings per week.
  • Don't overdo it. Avoid charring or burning meat, poultry or fish over high temperatures. Charring causes heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form, which can damage a person's genes and increase the risk for stomach and colorectal cancers. Oiling the grill, precooking the food from two to five minutes in an oven or microwave to reduce cooking time, lowering the grill temperature (using BBQ briquettes and hardwoods like hickory rather than pine chips) and scrubbing the grill after each use all help to reduce exposure to HCAs.
  • Put marinated meat on the menu. Marinating meat in lemon juice, vinegar and herbs such as mint, tarragon rosemary (2) or sage for at least 30 minutes can reduce hazardous HCA formation by as much as 96 percent.
  • Go lean. Either trim the fat or choose lean cuts of meat to reduce exposure to cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that form in the smoke when fat drips into the grill.
  • Offer vegetarian choices. Fruits and vegetables can be grilled instead of or alongside meat.

"For some grilling enthusiasts, these changes might initially be a lot to stomach," noted Scroggs. "But updating how you barbecue may mean you continue to enjoy grilling for many summers to come."

  1. The American Cancer Society offers more tips on healthy grilling. Your browser may not support display of this image.
  2. Zestzfulness: Carcinogen - FREE BBQ - Dec 15, 2009 Smith JS and his coworkers1 found that marinating with rosemary extracts can inhibit the formation of these carcinogenic compounds in cooked beef patties by 61 to 79 percent. This confirmed the 1998 findings by Murkovic ... You should also consider kariveppilai or curry leaves for the extra zestz and health benefits.
  3. Picture credit: http://gallery.markheadrick.com

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