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  • Elianni Gaio

13 Tips for a Healthier Grilling

13 Tips for a Healthier Grilling

A BBQ with family and friends is relaxing and fun, isn't it? Besides, it is difficult to resist meat that was prepared at a high-heat temperature as grilling because it smells and tastes delicious.

But cooking processes create changes in our food molecules and by grilling our meats – beef, pork, fish or poultry, in high-heat temperature, over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, result in the formation of inflammatory and mutagenic substances or compounds that are unsafe for our consumption.

These substances are:

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), or compounds that are produced when bioactive compounds of meat such as amino acids, sugar, and creatinine change while cooked over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or a substance that is formed during the grilling process by the dripping of the meat juices and fat on the fire producing flames that contaminate the surface of the meat that is charred or smoked.

Advanced glycation end products (AGESs) - heat promotes new AGEs formation 10-to 100-fold above the uncooked state. Dietary advanced glycation end products (dAGEs) are known to increase oxidative stress and inflammation.

The danger of being exposed to these toxins in our food may increase our risks of developing diabetes, cardiovascular problems, prostate, and colon cancer, etc.

So, depending on the individual health status may be a good idea to avoid meat prepared on high-temperature processes for a while.

But if you have good health overall and want to make grilling healthier and safer please, follow these 13 tips:

1 – avoid as much as possible eating meat that was directly exposed to an open flame or a hot metal surface (over 300 degrees Fahrenheit)

2 – avoid prolonged cooking times (especially at high temperatures)

3 - skip well-done meat – prefer a medium-cooked meat

4 – be continuously turning meat over a high-heat temperature

5 – remove charred portions of meat

6 – use various herbs and spices to flavor your meat such as garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, marjoram, sage, etc 7 - marinades of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, or red wine, cut HCA formation as much as 90%

8– or use acidic-based marinades such as lemon juice or vinegar in your meat

9 – avoid sauces made with tomatoes and sugar because it will double or triple the ingestion of toxic chemicals from your meat

10 – trim the fat from your favorite meat and choose leaner cuts of meat

11 - using a gentler method partially cook a meat before putting it on the grill

12 - be careful when cleaning your grill – never use a wire brush and toxic chemicals to remove leftover grease to avoid build-up of chemicals in your meat

13 - eat a BBQ at your home or at a place where you can control the cooking temperature

Besides, it is important to consider:

. limiting your smoked food consumption

. to always prefer preparing your favorite meat in gentle cooking methods such as steaming, stewing, poaching, and slow-cooking

. to avoid as much as possible from using gravy made from meat drippings

These strategies are the best way to decrease your health risks associated with grilling your food at high-temperature processes. Then, you can enjoy a barbecue once in a while.

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