Grilling has not been verified to cause cancer
There is no clear research showing that grilling links to cancer risk. Let me repeat that again…the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a non-profit research and education organization specializing in the connection between lifestyle habits and cancer risk states there is no clear research showing that grilling links to cancer risk. However….
Cooking meat at a high temperature – like grilling – creates substances that have the potential to cause changes in DNA that may lead to cancer,” says Alice Bender MS, RDN, Head of Nutrition Programs at AICR. “This is interesting research, yet what matters the most is what you cook, not how you cook it,” Bender said.
Three Grilling Guidelines
While there isn’t enough evidence that grilling increases the risk for cancer, there are simple precautions backyard chefs can take. Here are three basic grilling guidelines from AICR:
1. Shorten Grilling Time, Precook or Cut It Up: If you are grilling larger cuts, you can reduce the time your meat is exposed to the flames by partially cooking it in a microwave, oven or stove first. Immediately place the partially cooked meat on the preheated grill to keep your meat safe from bacteria and other food pathogens. You can also cut your meat into smaller portions before grilling.
2. Trim the Fat: Trimming the fat off your meat can reduce flare-ups and charring. Cook your meat in the center of the grill moving coals to the outside, and make sure to flip frequently.
3. Grill Plants: Grilled vegetables and fruits produce no HCAs, and diets high in plant foods are associated with lower cancer risk.
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