Healthy Barbecue?

Barbecued meat, not exactly high on Dr. Fuhrman’s list of health-promoting foods, in fact, he considers barbecued meats some of the worst foods you can eat for health and longevity. In Disease-Proof Your Child he points out that even browned food is a bad idea. Take a look:
Never eat browned or overly cooked food. Burnt food forms harmful compounds. If by accident something is overcooked and browned, discard. Avoid fried food and food sautéed in oil. Experiment with low heat cooking to prevent nutritional damage to the food and the formation of dangerous heat-generated compounds.
But this is America, the land of apple pie, bloody steak, charred burgers, and wonder pills. So, if you have friends or family that simply must have barbecue, HealthDay News shares some tips to make barbecue “healthier.” Robert Preidt reports:
The longer the cooking time and the higher the heat, the more HCAs, say experts at the University of California, Davis, Cancer Center. That means that barbecuing produces the most HCAs, followed by pan-frying and broiling. Baking, poaching, stir-frying and stewing produce the least HCAs.

The UC Davis experts offer the following advice for limiting HCAs:
  • Before you barbecue meat, partially cook it in the microwave and then throw out the juices that collect in the cooking dish. Finish cooking the meat on the grill. Precooking a hamburger for a few minutes in the microwave reduces HCAs by up to 95 percent.
  • Flip hamburgers often. Doing so every minute reduces HCAs by up to 100 percent. This is likely because constant flipping keeps internal meat temperatures lower.
Another important thing to keep in mind when eating overcooked food are acrylamides.
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Preview - May 29, 2007 11:52 AM

Also, from

"During barbecuing, for example, the fat from the meat drips onto the charcoal producing benzopyrene which then filters back up into the meat. A one-pound, well done, charcoal-broiled steak contains 4-5 micrograms of benzopyrene, an amount equal to what a person would get from smoking 600 cigarettes, stated Dave Townsend, an industry researcher who testified before a Minnesota tobacco trial."

LLouise - May 30, 2007 11:21 AM

Oh, wow, thanks for that tidbit (actually, that pretty darned big bit!), PREVIEW.
It's great to have this kind of info on hand. That is really offputting; I cannot imagine anyone forgetting that, "...smoking 600 cigarettes..." reference. Youch!
Now that summer is here...I can already "smell the sulfur" ;^D! But I'm ready. Bring 'em on!
I can't wait to lay that one on my Southern-Cali-backyard-bbq'ing family.

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