The mention of grilled meat arouses our taste buds and fills our imagination with delight. But the health implications of consuming red meat can be unpleasant.
According to researchers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHC) and heterocyclic amine (HCA) are carcinogens that result from cooking meat in high temperatures. In fact, people in the habit of eating well-done meat have a 60% chance of developing pancreatic cancer. The risk of breast, lung, and stomach cancer spikes with the length of cooking time.
But you don't need to throw out your charred steak just yet. You can significantly reduce these health risks or even reduce them to zero by using one or more of the tips here. Read on.
Reduce HCAs With Your Microwave
Just before grilling your meat, microwave it for a minute or two. Research suggests that a two-minute microwaving session lowers your BBQ's HCA content by 90%. Make sure to throw out your meat's juice, that's where the carcinogens sit.
Use Antioxidants And Make Them Stick
Studies show that using marinades can lower the HCA contents of your BBQ because they contain high levels of antioxidants. In one study, using spices like garlic, thyme, and sage reduced the carcinogens of the grilled meat by as much as 60%. And high concentrations of rosemary lowered HCAs by 90% in some instances.
According to studies from the University of Porto in Portugal, wine and other alcohols reduce HCAs in BBQs. Meat that was marinated for six hours in alcohol had 40% fewer carcinogens than those that were not marinated.
However, marinating your veal, beef, or chicken for long hours can lower the sauce's antioxidant content from the spices alone. So you want to grill your BBQ shortly after marinating the meat. You can always brush some extra sauce on the BBQ when ready to serve to raise its antioxidant content.
Lower The Heat
If getting a healthy BBQ is the goal, don't shoot for well-done meat. Researchers found out that more heat increases HCA presence. Keep your heat below 325 degrees Fahrenheit. You can monitor your meat's temperature using a meat thermometer to make sure it keeps an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can start with microwaving your meat. And then, marinate it in wine or alcohol for six hours. Next, use marinades like garlic, sage, and thyme to further lower HCAs. Finally, grill in low heat and brush with more marinades before serving.