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What Everybody Ought To Know About Grilling Out

Back when I was in college, I bought a book about weight lifting and nutrition. In one particular section, I remember reading a comment from former Mr. Olympia, Franco Columbo, about grilling out. He said cooking meat over an open flame is equivalent to smoking six cigarettes!

The book went on to say grilling meat at high temperatures produces carcinogens. These are substances that can cause changes in DNA, which may lead to cancer.

Yeah, grilling out is as American as the Fourth of July. But you can still have a good time and reduce your risk by following these recommended steps:
  • Select lean cuts of meat and limit portion size.
  • Place aluminum foil with holes over the grill to prevent fat from dripping and causing flare-ups that can deposit carcinogens from smoke onto the meat.
  • Marinate meat for at least 10 minutes before grilling. Research suggests that soaking meat in any acidic liquid reduces the formation of carcinogens.
  • Pre-cook meat briefly indoors before grilling, to reduce the amount of juices that can hold carcinogens.
  • Flip the meat often to reduce the temperature on both sides.
  • Avoid eating charred parts of meat.
  • Do not press, flatten or pierce the meat. It will cause flavorful juices to be lost and may cause flare-ups.
By using these tips, you can minimize your health risks while celebrating the holiday with friends and family.

Have a great July 4th!