cancer

6 Grilling Tips to Avoid Carcinogens

by Columbia Surgery on August 22, 2014

177473555Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of time to gather with friends and family, kick back and relax as your dinner cooks away on the grill. And while this may be good, healthy fun, the way you cook your meat might not be so healthy. Because if cooked incorrectly, grilling can cause your meat to form Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs), which studies suggest may cause certain cancers

From Cancer.gov:

“HCAs are formed when amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), sugars, and creatine (a substance found in muscle) react at high temperatures. HCAs are not found in significant amounts in foods other than meat cooked at high temperatures. Whatever the type of meat, however, meats cooked at high temperatures, especially above 300ºF (as in grilling or pan frying), or that are cooked for a long time tend to form more HCAs. HCAs […] become capable of damaging DNA only after they are metabolized by specific enzymes in the body, a process called “bioactivation.” Studies have found that the activity of these enzymes, which can differ among people, may be relevant to cancer risks associated with exposure to these compounds.”

To help combat the formation of HCAs on your meat, dietician Anne Ammons has come up with 6 grilling tips for safer meat cooking:

  1. Avoid flame flare-ups. Flare-ups—when burger the fire shoots up around your meat—greatly increase the chance of HCA formation.
  2. Marinate meat for 30 minutes before grilling several studies (here and here) suggest marinating meat leads to fewer HCAs.
  3. Limit portion sizes. Smaller pieces means shorter cooking time and less chance for HCA formation.
  4. Choose leaner cuts of meats. Leaner cuts cause less flare-ups, which means less chance for HCAs.
  5. Do not overcook* or burn meat. You may prefer your burger resemble a hockey puck, but excessive overcooking can increase the chance for HCAs. (*As always, follow the food safety recommendations for internal cooking temperatures for your meat. The USDA recommends an internal cooking temperature of 160 °F for ground beef. We’d hate to have you avoid HCAs only to get sick with salmonella.)
  6. Switch to fruits and vegetables. Grilled fruits and vegetables are delicious, and they don’t get HCAs!

For smarter grilling, it is never too late to try some delicious, nutritious grilled alternatives:

-        veggie burgers

-        portabella mushroom caps to replace a ground beef burger

-        squash, peppers, or sweet potatoes

-        grilled pineapple is a tasty dessert.

Grilled pineappleGrilled portabello mushrooms

 

Read more:

 Turmeric, Curcumin, and Cancer: What’s the Research?

• Cheers for Chia: the Ancient Superfood

 Following The Dietary Guidelines for Americans May Reduce Your Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

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The Pancreas Center will be holding their annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day this year on Saturday, November 8th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center.

“Awareness” is the appropriate name for this day. Yet, after attending several of these, a better title would be the annual Pancreatic Cancer “Hope” Day.

It’s undeniable that pancreatic cancer is a difficult disease. Yet in spite of this, the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day generates the utmost levels of positive energy, support and hope. Attendees learn about new advances in pancreatic care from clinicians. Survivors share their experiences and gratitude to Dr. John Chabot and the Pancreas Center team for their second leases on life. It would be difficult to leave this celebration unmoved.

Jonas Salk the inventor of the polio vaccine, once said, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” This quote personifies the mission of the Pancreas Center and its team.

To register for this year’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day visit the registration page.

After the lectures and testimonials, there will be a vendor health fair, refreshments and an opportunity to speak with Pancreas Center clinicians in the Riverview Terrace.

If you need more information about the event contact Christine Rein at 212-304-7814 or through email at cmr2146@cumc.columbia.edu.

Related Link:
More Than Just A Diagnosis: Pancreatic Cancer Support Group

Dr. John Chabot & the Pancreas Center Team

Dr. John Chabot & the Pancreas Center Team


 

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Turmeric, Curcumin, and Cancer: What’s the Research?

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February 19, 2014

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Innovations in Breast Cancer: Intraoperative Radiation Therapy Update

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