Summer is here. With it come vacations, lush gardens, and barbecues with friends and family. Unfortunately, barbecued food has been linked to
an increased risk of cancer. But you can have your barbecue and your health too with if you follow these suggestions:
1. Keep a watchful eye to avoid barbecue flare-ups and the resulting charring of your food. Charred food is linked with the creation of
2. Cook over lower temperatures. Use low to medium cooking temperatures. When foods like meat are heated over high temperatures or
come in contact with flames, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can form. Both
compounds are known carcinogens. Of course you don’t need to pronounce them or spell them to reduce your risk of exposure to these
carcinogens. Of course if you’re cooking meat or poultry always be sure that the inside temperature reaches a high enough temperature to kill
3. If you’re cooking meat or poultry, marinate it in olive oil and lemon juice-based marinades. Research shows that these two items reduce the
formation of cancer-causing compounds by up to 99% while cooking, while adding flavor and helping to keep it moist.
4. Choose naturally low fat foods like vegetables, lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
are primarily formed when fats are heated to high temperatures or fall into the flames and create smoke. Low fat foods reduce the chance of
these compounds forming at all.
5. Trim excess fat from meat prior to cooking it (for the same reason as number 4).
6. Add fresh or dried herbs to cut your cancer risk. These herbs include: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Food Safety
Consortium scientists at Kansas State University discovered that using basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, or sage in marinades drastically
reduces the formation of HCAs. Simply use one or more of these herbs, preferably fresh, in a marinade prior to and during cooking. They
reduce cancer risk and add tremendous flavor.