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Outdoor Grilling Tips: How to Cut the Cancer Risk From Your Meat

Low and slow is the way to go

4. Lower the temperature.

It's the high temps that trigger cancer-causing compounds called HCAs (heterocyclic amines) to form in meat. If you're grilling, increase the distance between the meat and the flames. For charcoal grills, use briquettes made from hardwood, like hickory and maple, because they burn at a lower temperature.

5. Skip the hot dogs and other processed meats.

Researchers don't know exactly what in processed meats leads to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. It may be the nitrites or nitrates added as preservatives, or something else that occurs during the processing. What this means is that they also can't say for sure if nitrite- and nitrate-free hot dogs are a safer choice.

6. Don't char or burn whatever kind of meat you're cooking.

High temperatures, whether from grilling, broiling or frying, cause chemicals to form in meat that can raise your cancer risk. These chemicals — HCAs — are considered carcinogens and have been linked to several kinds of cancer, including colorectal, bladder and pancreatic.

You may also like: Foods that fight high blood pressure. >>

Candy Sagon writes about health and nutrition for the Bulletin.

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