In winter season especially or doing hangout with friends or most often going for a picnic party with family or friends for outdoor cooking, the thing clicked to one’s mind is “Yeah! Barbecue”. Where enjoying a delicious barbecue at picnic place even a few rainy drops would be enough to ruin your fun, scientists horn a much higher distress, that eating BBQ could cause you cancer.
It is revealed in recent studies that our chances to be prone to cancerous compounds called “carcinogens” are higher, while HCA and PAH compounds are at top list. These compounds potentially harm our DNA to impair the production of cells, this would lead to the uncontrolled production of cells which is the condition we called as “cancer”. According to a study in a university of New York, this risk may be offered in other high-temperature cooking techniques but direct exposure to heat and direct smoke with high temperature for a long period of time (as in BBQ) increases the chance of pancreatic cancer to 60%.
Barbecue Could Cause You a Cancer:
High consumption of fatty meat in the form of BBQ is another major cause of 79% elevated risk of prostate cancer. While eating barbecued food especially of red meat and ribs regularly for a long time could cause digestive cancer. Although it is more than a blessing for those natives who are living in agricultural country, as they produce animal meat at fresh rate which means there is no or very less culture of “processed meat”, as this attractively packed processed meat with chemicals adhered to it could link towards other high risks of bowel cancer.
In simple words, there are three phases of carcinogen build-up process: one is that when we directly expose the surface of food towards contaminated smoke for cooking purpose, the second is when fats, carbohydrates and proteins breakdown and form compound with chemicals released through smoke as food cooks, and third one is linked with strong burning chemical reactions which take place when fat from meat drips over the hot embers. This third point gives us another hint for safety, as this is common that dripping fat favors more smoke, so it would definitely be better to use less-fat meat for BBQ purpose.
Even though cooking on propane grills or over natural gas would reduce the proportion of released chemicals to the remarkable degree which is much safer. However, it would not give your food that one typical delectable smoky flavor. So, not to eat BBQ food? But wait! Here is another fact about barbecue process and I don’t want you to miss it to know. This is quite strange but completely true that smoldering coal for extreme heat at which we cook while barbecuing emit smoke which contains toxic gasses such as PAHs and carbon monoxide (CO). These gasses are not just incorporate in your food but also pollute the air around you in which you breathe. This poisonous air can be injurious to the lungs. This fact would be enough to shock you up that PAHs are the compounds which are present in cigarette smoke as well and directly affects the lung cells. So, if you are not a cigarette smoker then why would you pay for its hazards?
The story doesn’t stop at the meaty facts, we have some good facts about vegetables as well. You would be happy to read that vegetables don’t emit carcinogenic compounds when they are exposed to smoke heat. Though the production of HCAs depends upon the occurrence of creatinine compounds which are generally instituted in muscle tissues. But the meat with the almost absence of fat create.
Less smoke hence less toxic compounds:
The amount of PAHs and HCAs can be reduced for meat or fish by scratching off the black bits (burnt parts) or by cooking the food over a normal temperature and removing it until it’s done, not burned. There is another thing that could help in the matter, that partial cooking of meat pieces in the broiler or some kind of microwave oven will demand less time on BBQ. Through this one could prevent his food from charring. The other way follows the margination of food in some sort of vinegar before barbecuing, as this process would reduce the production of PAHs to 50%. This process of leaving meat in a mixture of vinegar and other spices overnight in the fridge would also tenderize it and impart enchanting and mouthwatering flavor to it. In a research study, it is revealed that the addition tea marinades do provide an extra shielding effect against disastrous carcinogenic compounds. While the reason lies in the fact that the antioxidant compounds present in tea extract are helpful as inhibitors of PAHs. It would be much better to use green tea extract while marinating your BBQ because green tea contains more antioxidant compounds related to ordinary tea. Barbecue is not that much disastrous as one could think if he/she don’t know about the remedy facts, as long as people are sensible it would make them eat their food with least harm and more benefit. So, it’s always better to know!
Tips – How to Get Healthier BBQ?
- Use a BBQ processor which has a control dial for temperature, or if you don’t have it then you could lower the temperature or reduce the coal pieces to provide moderate temperature (not too high) and avert the meat from burning.
- To create a shield for HCAs, marinate the meat with vinegar and other compounds.
- Even it would be ideally excellent if you use smokeless barbecue processor provided with a power fan for preventing the meat from getting too much smoked and inhibit carcinogenic compounds to be inhaled by you.
- Switch your choice to seafood, as it generally produces fewer PAHs and HCAs than that of meat and on the other hand, it requires a short period of time to cook.
- Use the lean meat or trim fat trips before getting it to the grill, this would reduce fat dripping.
- Reduce the grilling time by partially cooking your meat.
- Cut the meat pieces into smaller ones, this would reduce cooking time hence provide less exposure to smoke.