Great news for vegetarians!
If you grill vegetables, you can feel free to singe away. Knock yourself out and flame it up. These don’t have the combination of creatine and sugar found in meats, nor does it have the fat drippings that smoke up into the other grilling-induced carcinogens called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Think grilled pineapple. Seriously. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil over it beforehand. When it comes to your plate still hot from the grill, it’ll make you weep. A Tasty Solution for your meatsCutting back on your carcinogens, however, doesn’t mean that you have to cut back on flavor. And you don’t have to avoid grilling meats at all either. If you want to minimize your exposure, there are some very simple things you can do before, during, and after you grill.
Know that the marinade you use can make a huge difference in how healthy your food is.
The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii found that a teriyaki marinade reduced HCAs by 67%. A turmeric-garlic sauce reduced them by 50%! The key here is to use a thin, vinegar-based sauce, and leave out the sugar.
That’s because, when a thick concentrated commercial barbecue sauce with additive sugars was used, it actually tripled the number of HCAs! So, if you’re sitting around the house thinking that you just haven’t had enough carcinogens in your day, well, now you know how to fix that problem.
This research group also showed HCA reduction with marinades containing herbs and spices as well, notably those related from the mint family such as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, and thyme. Most of these herbs are rich in three compounds — carnosic acid, carnosol and rosmarinic acid — all potent antioxidants.
Bottom line? Marinate.
Even briefly marinating foods is effective in reducing the amount of carcinogens — in some cases by as much as 92 to 99%. As a rule, use about one-half cup of marinade for every pound of food, although large pieces may need more to cover the food's surface adequately.
The amount of marinating time is up to you, because it only takes a few minutes to get the full cancer-preventing effect. Longer times will just add more flavor — good health has never been so tasty!
When you’re in mid-grill ...
First of all, don’t set your barbecue on “blow torch.” Start on a medium-high temp, and flip the meat often enough so that you don’t get charring. Another great technique, in case you have multiple burners within your grill, is to grill up each side real quick, and then turn off the burner that lies directly under the meat while keeping the other burners on. That basically transitions your grill into an oven.
During the grilling process, you can prevent the PAH carcinogens by: