Our life without food can easily be compared to a body without soul and this is the reason why food is considered to be a basic necessity for our living. There are numbers of types of food that are gorged upon by people living across the globe and the most loved food consists of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and animal meat. Meat and its by-products are staple food for millions of people around the world and people use variety of culinary skills in order to cook meat in the best possible manner.
Meat is an integral part of our diet Some people use meat for making healthy soups while others grill it to make delicious steaks and BBQ, no matter what cooking technique one tends to use meat content in your diet is considered highly beneficial and nutritional for one’s bones, muscles, organs and body as a whole. There is not an iota of doubt that meat and its by-products are great for our overall well-being but there are chances that the meat you are eating might harm your organs and body in a terrible manner, you wonder how? Let us tell you all about the same in sections below.
Consequences of cooking/grilling meat Meat is often cooked by way of frying, boiling or grilling and all these processes require heat energy. But not many people are aware of the fact that cooking meat on high heat and temperature makes the amino-acids present in meat react with the creatine in order to form Heterocyclic amines. These heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) are actually the compounds that cause cancer in a person. HCA’s are basically group of chemicals that are produced while the meat is exposed to prolonged periods of heat and thus more heating of meat would cause more production of these HCA’s. Grilling is considered to be the biggest reason of development of these cancer causing cells because unlike boiling or frying, grilling is done with the help of coal. When the coal is burnt, it leads to production of smoke and this smoke itself contains cancer-causing chemicals apart from the ones that are produced while cooking the meat at high temperatures.
So grilling meat is like a double trouble because it doubles up the production of HCA’s. Another factor that speeds up the production of HCA’s is the time period for which the meat is exposed to heat and high temperature. Thus, meat that is cooked and grilled for longer time would have more HCA’s as compared to the one cooked for small time period. We are much aware of the fact that the true happiness of a BBQ party lies in serving well roasted and browned meat steaks but remember that the more cooked or browned a meat steak is, the more carcinogens it will contain. So, if you want to gorge upon BBQ or grilled meat then consider medium or medium rare cooked meat for eating as they are definitely healthier options than the over-cooked meat slices.
Avoid side effects of grilling meat There are a number of ways in which one can avoid the side effects that are caused by grilling meat i.e. one can minimize the production of cancer-causing chemicals or HCA’s by following the below listed techniques:
ü Avoid grilled meat If you actually want to eliminate the risk of exposing yourself to cancer causing chemicals, then the best way of doing so is by avoiding grilled and BBQ meat altogether. No grilling means no HCA’s which means no risk of cancer to you and your loved ones. However, we suggest you to cook meat using other techniques than grilling such as using water base to cook the same. It has been scientifically proven that meat cooked in water and crock pots doesn’t contain any carcinogenic chemicals. If you still want to splurge upon the BBQ, then wait for special occasions and use wise grilling methods for cooking the meat.
ü Marinate your grilled meat Marinating the meat not just enhances its taste considerably but also lessens the production of HCA’s or cancer causing chemicals. Essentially herbs such as thyme, rosemary along with various spices and water must be used for marinating the meat in order to make it healthy and safe for eating. Thyme and rosemary are anti-oxidants that inhibit the production of HCA’s even while the meat is being grilled and other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, spices and oregano too help in reducing carcinogenic components while grilling. Always make sure that the meat is marinated for hours using these ingredients before taking it to grilling.
ü Lesser temperature and leaner meat Lean meat is definitely easy to grill as compared to other meat and this is the reason why lean meat should be chosen for grilling purposes. Until now, you all are aware of the fact that prolonged exposure to heat causes more production of HCA’s which pose a threat to your life in number of ways. Thus meats would be cooked in lesser time period thus inhibiting the release of harmful substances. We know that eating black and dark browned portions of meat steaks is a dreamy experience but in order to avoid carcinogenic components, one need to cook meat loafs only in medium or rare-medium mode instead of opting for the high-temperature and high-heating modes. This will not just save you from the harmful effect of HCA’s but would also let you save up on your electricity bills if your grill works on electricity.
ü Use anti-oxidants Anti-oxidants are known for their amazing effects on our body and this is the reason why we are recommending you to include food items rich in anti-oxidants along with grilled meat. One can make a green salad using lots of fresh veggies and fruits and even use cream or mayonnaise to make it tempting to be served with grilled meat. You can even include drinks that are rich in anti-oxidants such as freshly made iced-tea with the grilled steak or BBQ meat in order to combat the side effects of the HCA’s present within the same.
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