Grilling is a popular and heart healthy cooking method used to produce low-fat, flavorful foods. It has also been implicated in increased risk of developing cancer. Carcinogens, or cancer causing compounds, may be formed at two points in the grilling process: smoke production and contact with food items and when meats are cooked at very high heat.
Here are ways you can incorporate grilled foods while minimizing risk of carcinogen production. Remember, your goals should be to reduce smoke and fire flare ups coming into contact with your foods and avoiding overcooking at high temperatures.
- Marinate meat before grilling
- Trim fat prior to grilling to reduce flare ups and smoke contact with meats
- Place food in the center of the grill with coals to the sides; or use outside burners and place food in the center of the grill
- Choose quick cooking cuts of meat, such as kabobs and thinner, leaner meats to reduce cooking time
- Include fresh veggies, which produce fewer carcinogens when grilled
- Trim charred portions of food prior to serving
More About the Loran Smith Center
Our Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support provides information, education and emotional and spiritual support to cancer patients and their families in north Georgia. It serves as a resource for patients before, during and after cancer treatment through support groups, individual and family counseling and an educational resource library.
To speak to someone at the center, call 706-475-4900.