Tips for Healthy Grilling

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,791
    Dr. Russell Greenfield, M.D. provides healthy tips for grilling.

    Dr. Russell Greenfield: Summer is here and the living is easy, so breakout the grill and get ready for some delicious meals. There are some precautions to keep in mind however. Cooking beef, chicken, pork or fish at high temperature produces unhealthy compounds called heterocyclic amines or HCAs which experts believe may increase the risk of certain cancers including breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Unfortunately, there is more. When juices drop down on to the heating elements of a grill, flare-ups and black smoke can generate other cancer causing agents, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs. The good news is you can lessen the risk of harm in four easy steps. Let's go over the four Ms of healthy grilling. Number one, marinate. Marinating meat in a mixture of vinegar and citrus juice for as little as 30 minutes before you place it on the grill, significantly decreases projection of HCAs and PAHs. Number two, microwave the meat on high for perhaps 30-60 seconds. Just enough item to dry up a little of the juice, thereby lessening the chance of flame-ups and developing of those nasty PAHs. Number three, meat thermometer. use one. A good rule of thumb is to grill your meat to at least an internal temperature of 1600 F to reduce the incidents of food poisoning. And lastly, number four, medium to medium-well. Grill, don't char your foods. Charred meat is high in those dangerous HCAs and PAHs and really shouldn't be eaten. So be a smart griller this summer ensuring not only the best tasting foods for you and your loved ones, but the safest ones too.