SYNONYMOUS WITH SUMMER ARE LONG DAYS, WARMER TEMPS, AND BARBEQUES.
While many may think the side salads and desserts are the biggest threat to one’s health at the weekend cookout, there are dangers that lie in char boiling and gas grilling. The biggest culprits come from the “MPF” of barbeques: the meat, poultry, and fish. When amino acids and creatine are heated at a high temperature, they form heterocyclic amines (HAs) which are a known carcinogen. In addition, when the drippings from the meat hit the coals, this also forms polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAAs). The PAAs are inhaled by your lungs and sticks to your skin and clothing. Factors including contact with direct flames or heating element, long exposure time, and high temperatures over 400* all increase the formation of HAs and PAAs. This does not mean you can not participate in barbeques, but taking these simple steps can help reduce the formation of carcinogens and allow you to enjoy your summertime meal.
- Cook smaller pieces and leaner cuts of meat to reduce cook time and drippings. In any form of cooking, the shorter time exposed to a heating source the less nutrient loss.
- Baste with oils that have a high smoke point like avocado or high oleic safflower oil to form a barrier of protection and reduce oxidative damage to the oil itself
- Flavor with high antioxidant foods like rosemary, citrus, sage, green tea, and others
- Increase intake of cruciferous vegetables to increase ability of the body to detoxify