By Dr. Karen Coates
Food is meant to nourish, give us palatal satisfaction and provide a social focus for family and friends. What better way to spend Sunday afternoon than around a traditional barbeque.
Well, if you want to reduce your family’s risk of cancer from this popular BBQ practice then read on...
Breast and prostate cancer are the main ones I’m talking about here. It’s all because of a nasty chemical called HCA (Heterocyclic amines) that are created when the Barbie meat hits the grill plate at high temperatures. There is no argument in the scientific world that HCAs cause cancer. Beef, lamb pork and even the humble fish are at risk of morphing into a Trojan horse, carrying HCAs into the body in guise of healthy food choices. Where do they hide? In that to-die-for gravy and meat sauces scraped from the pan, and it the crispy blackened char grill of the perfect steak (sorry guys).
So start minimizing risk at next weekend’s social gathering. Implement this Action Plan:
Medium – rare is the way to go
Minimise Pork especially well-done. Bacon has the highest level of HCAs (14 ng/g compared to beef at 9, and chicken at 7)
Stir fry, oven baking and stewing are the best methods of cooking
If you do fry, remove the chicken skin. Imagine a huge poison warning label on the chook.
Don’t scrape the pan drippings into gravy
Don’t eat deep-fried food If you do fry, DO NOT re-use the deep-fry oil.
Thoroughly clean the BBQ after every use. These guys get more potent every time they are re-heated