-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Simple changes to your
backyard grilling routine could help reduce your colon cancer risk,
an expert says.
"Research now shows that diets high in red and processed meat increase risk for colon cancer," Alice Bender, a registered dietitian at the American Institute for Cancer Research, said in an institute news release. "And grilling meat -- red or white -- forms potent cancer-causing substances. But by keeping five simple steps in mind, it's possible to make this summer's backyard grilling both healthier and more flavorful."
The type of meat you put on the grill is as important as how you
grill it. Diets high in beef, pork and lamb are linked to increased
risk for colon cancer, as are processed meats such as hot dogs and
sausages. Instead of sticking with steak, burgers and franks, use
spices, herbs, hot peppers and sauces to get creative with fish and
chicken, Bender suggested.
Be sure to marinate before you grill. Research has shown that
marinating meat, poultry and fish for at least 30 minutes before
putting it on the grill can reduce the formation of potentially
cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that are formed when
cooking with high heat. Use a mixture of vinegar, herbs, spices and
lemon juice or wine.
Other potentially cancer-causing substances called polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are deposited onto meat by smoke
during grilling. Reduce the amount of time that meat spends on the
grill by first partially cooking it in a microwave, oven or stove.
Be sure to put the partially cooked meat on the preheated grill
immediately in order to keep it safe from microbes that can cause
illness, Bender said.
Cook meat over a low flame to reduce the formation of HCAs and
PAHs. Reduce flare-ups by keeping fat and juices out of the fire.
Cut visible fat off the meat, move coals to the side of the grill
and cook your meat in the center of the grill. Cut off any charred
portions of meat before serving.
Your menus should include vegetables and fruits, which contain
anti-cancer compounds. Put thick slices of onions, zucchini,
eggplant, bell peppers or tomatoes on the grill or in a grill
basket. Corn on the cob is another good choice for grilling, which
brings out the sweetness in vegetables, Bender said.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
meats cooked at high temperature and cancer
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