Summertime and the grilling is easy. Pardon the pun, but grilling is a summertime tradition that can increase your risk for colon cancer. The National Institue for Cancer Research has put out easy steps you can take to help reduce that risk.
The three main risks are:
- Grilling usually involves red meat, pork, and processed meats like hot dogs and sausages. Diets rich in these meats can lead to colon cancer.
- Cooking meats at extremely high heats can cause the formation of, potentially cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
- Smoke can deposit cancer-causing substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
You can reduce your risks by following these easy guidelines:
- Choose chicken and fish for grilling, when possible.
- Partially cook meats, reducing the time spent on the grill can reduce the amount of HCAs formed in the meat
- Grill the meat “off-center” from the coals, this will reduce flare-ups and reduce the amount of PAHs deposited on the meat
- Marinate your meats, at least 30 minutes before grilling. Research has shown that this also reduces the amount of HCAs formed.
- Balance your grilled meats with grilled vegetables. Thick sliced zucchini, onions, eggplant, and bell peppers become sweeter when grilled and provide cancer-fighting compounds and fiber. Fresh corn on the cob is also delicious cooked on the grill.