It’s Grilling Time!


BarBQThe Memorial Day weekend kicked off the “unofficial” start of summer.  So, for the next several months there’s something special a lot of Americans love to do especially on the weekends and that’s spending great times with friends and family outdoors around the grill or bar-b-que.

Big Bad Problem

But here in lies a problem.  Most folks aren’t aware that when you cook meat (whether it’s grilled, broiled, or seared) there are carcinogenic compounds that can form called HCA’s (heterocyclic amines).  But the truth is…grilled meat tastes awesome and there’s no way folks are going to be giving up that occasional steak or burger from the grill…me included; I prefer grass-fed beef and so should you because it’s a lot healthier.

Big Tasty Solution

That’s why it’s important for you to know that there’s a way you can use spices in a marinade to both counteract, and also drastically reduce the carcinogens formed when you grill meat.

How to Marinate

If you’re grilling your meats, marinate them for at least two hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices as they dramatically help reduce those dangerous HCA’s that form when meats are not properly prepared or grilled too much.  Using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinade before grilling meats drastically reduces any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat.

The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade are specifically cited in studies as being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.  But it was also noted that other spices such as garlic, oregano, and others can help to prevent HCA formation as well, so use a variety (be creative), all of which tastes absolutely great anyway.

Medium Rare or Well-done?

Always keep in mind that the more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher the concentration of carcinogenic HCA’s can form, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are much healthier choices than well-done.  How could anyone ruin a good steak by burning it to oblivion?  But hey, if you’re one of those folks that likes your steaks well-done, don’t ever forget that you’re eating a lot more carcinogens than a steak that’s cooked less, so make sure to load up on your daily antioxidants (spices, teas, berries, special supplements, etc.) to help combat those extra carcinogens.

Antioxidants to the Rescue

You ingest various carcinogens all the time, even with some vegetables, but you can always protect yourself with more antioxidants.

Washing down your barbequed meal with a glass of unsweetened iced tea (rich in antioxidants) and also a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide the antioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.

Even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such as acrylamides, so don’t think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats. The better alternative is to “wok” your veggies.

Also, keep in mind that you can use superfoods such as spices, herbs, fruits, veggies, and even some animal-based superfoods to fight against cancer development, reduce high blood pressure, prevent diabetes, prevent heart disease, and even BOOST your metabolism for a flatter stomach… learn about them here: in the AAANEWS Course in its Nutrition Section.

When you cook meat in a water base as opposed to grilling, broiling, or searing, you eliminate the HCAs and are a much healthier way to cook meat.  Meats cooked in a soup, or meats cooked in a crock pot will not have the same problem of the carcinogenic HCAs from grilling.

Bottom Line: We all love a great barbeque and the fellowship that goes with it, so no need to give it up just because of HCAs or acrylamides, but at least now you know how to counteract the effects of these in your body to protect yourself, and also how to use spices to drastically reduce the formation of HCAs on grilled meat.