Most people arent aware that when you cook meat (whether its grilled, boiled, or seared) there arecarcinogenic compounds that can form HCAs (heterocyclic amines). Now dont panic...you ingest various carcinogens all the time, even with vegetables. You can always protect yourself with more antioxidants.
When you cook meat in a water base as opposed to grilling, broiling, orsearing, you eliminate the HCAs. So for example, meats cooked in a soup, or meats cooked in a crock pot will not have the problem of the carcinogenic HCAs and is a healthier way to cook meat.
But lets face it... grilled meattastes awesome and theres noway Im giving up my steak from the grill, or my burgers!
So, here comes my favorite herbs for our rescue!! So using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinate before grilling meatsdrastically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat.
The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinadewere specifically cited in studies at being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.
Remember that the more well- done a meat is cooked, the higher concentration ofcarcinogenic HCAs can form, so rare, medium-rare, ormedium are healthier choices than well-done.
Washing down your barbequedmeal with a glass of unsweetenediced tea (rich in antioxidants) andalso a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide theantioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.
By the way, even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such asacrylamides, so dont think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats.
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