Reducing the Risk of Overcooked Meat

Do you know that overcooking meat can actually be dangerous to your overall health? In this post, we will discuss five (5) helpful ways therefore reducing the risk of overcooked meat.

When you overcook meat, it becomes tough due to the fat and protein molecules becoming fused together. This makes it very difficult to digest. But there’s greater danger than difficulty in chewing, cutting or digesting.

Overcooked meat results in the formation of heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. I know, you’re probably wondering what the heck this all means but ultimately these two things are a result of when fat and juice from meat drips into an open fire causing flames. The flames contain elements that stick to the surface of your meat.

And why should we care about reducing the risk of overcooked meat?

Because they are known to cause cancer.

A 2010 research report written by the US National Library of Medicine says: “the majority of these studies have shown that high intake of well-done meat and high exposure to meat carcinogens, particularly HCAs, may increase the risk of human cancer.”

Here are a few ways to reduce your risks:

  • Use Herbs & Spices
    Flavoring your meat with herbs and spices, particularly basil, fresh garlic, thyme, sage and oregano will not only add taste to your meat but they will help to prevent the formation of HCA and PAH.
  • Use Marinades
    Similarly to using herbs and spices, if you marinade your meat prior to cooking you are essentially helping to protect it with a healthy coating. This can help to reduce the formation of HCA by up to 99%!
  • Choose High Quality Meat
    Select whole cuts such as chicken breasts, steaks, ribs and seafood rather than processed cuts. You’ll also want to avoid pre-packaged burgers that contain an abundance of preservatives and stick to fresh, local meat.
  • Use Foil
    Wrap meat in foil when cooking on the grill so as not to lose moisture to the fire. Further, consider trimming the fat prior to cooking.
  • And of course, don’t overcook!
    Spend time learning how to properly grill and cook your meat. Subscribe to YouTube channels dedicated to teaching you the proper techniques and temperatures based on your selected cut and preference.
    Keep in mind that blackened and charred meat contain 4 times more HCA’s than medium-rare.

That’s it for today –> 5 ways of reducing the risk of overcooked meat!

If you are ON for healthy living beyond food, here’s a good read!

P.S: If you’re interested in reading the full report, you can find it here:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769029/

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Pam Byc
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