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Reducing Carcinogens In Grilled Meat

Updated on July 8, 2011

Carcinogens are produced through many cooking methods including grilling, which leads to their formation from amino acids and sugars.

The formed Hetero Cyclic Amines(HCAs) and the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been linked to cancer, in other words they are carcinogens. Documented research has proved that they are associated with colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.

Carcinogens are formed within meat through chemical reactions, that are similar to those chemists conduct in their lab - aren't you a chemist when applying such a heat to such a large group of chemical compounds?. Consequently, we can adopt some techniques that prevent or reduce the formation of these chemical products.

Our plan will involve procedures that reduce the conditions that favor formation of carcinogens,  extract them after formed outside the body, or increase their excretion from the body.

Reduce Carcinogen Formation in the Grilled Meat

Since carcinogens are formed by chemical reactions, and any chemical reaction proceeds in the air involves oxidation, we can prevent or reduce the product of this reaction (carcinogens) by adding antioxidants. Here are some ways to do that:

- Researchers at Michigan University found that adding cherries to ground beef reduced the HCAs by nearly 69-78.5 percent. Thus mixing a cup of ground tart cherries with a pound of ground meat will largely cut off amount od carcinogens formed.

- Studies found that mixing 120 mg of vitamin E powder with 3.5 ounces of paties, significantly reduced the formation of HCAs. It is easily done if you cut 1 or 2 capsules of vitamin E, and mix their oil content with meat before cooking (or add it to the marinade).

- Seasoning with Garlic, Rosemary, and Sage have been found to block the formation of HCAs and PAHs. Mix Rosemary, Sage (fresh or dried) and crushed Garlic with meat before cooking.

- Marinate with Olive oil as its antioxidants have been found to reduce the formation of HCAs and PAHs.

Extract Formed Carcinogens from Grilled Meat

- You can pre-cook the meat in your microwave, drain the juices and reject them (they contain HCAs, or the precursors that form them). After pre-cooking your meat (poultry, fishes ...etc), finish them in the oven or the grill.

- Cut off the charred sections of meat, and it is better if you avoid overcooking that forms charred meat.

Help your Body Excrete Ingested Carcinogens

There is a common saying in Egypt that you "seal" a heavy meal by drinking 1 or 2 cups of tea. Actually polyphenols in green tea may help the body to excrete carcinogens outside the body.

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