Cutting through diet and cancer headlines and hype isn’t easy for anyone, including your health care providers. They also look for help understanding the evidence and putting the latest studies in perspective.
Last month I was in Atlanta, talking about obesity and cancer with dietitians who work with all kinds of people, from kids to seniors, and doing prevention, clinical work, food service and more. Here are a few common questions they asked, reflecting the questions they get from patients, clients and friends.
1. Grilling: How bad is charring for cancer risk and should we still grill?
AICR’s expert report and updates say there isn’t enough evidence to show that grilled meat increases risk for stomach cancer. But we do know that grilling meat – both red and white – creates cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form. Because there are ways to limit these substances forming, we recommend 5 ways you can grill more safely. Continue reading
Except for skewering a couple of onions and tomatoes with cubes of meat for kabobs, the delicious possibilities of grilling a wide variety of vegetables often go unexplored. But our Health-e-Recipe for Grilled Vegetables helps you turn out plenty of terrific tasting vegetables for your summer barbecues.
Start by buying the freshest possible white and red onions, peppers, summer squash like zucchini or yellow crookneck, portobello mushrooms and asparagus you can find. (You can try eggplant and cherry tomatoes, too.) Have a mix of herbs, juice or balsamic vinegar and canola or olive oil on hand plus a basting brush ready. Get your grill heated to medium. Skewer bite-size pieces or just place halved veggies on the grate and baste, grilling for about 2 minutes on each side.
Vegetables don’t contain the saturated fats that meats do. When saturated fat drips onto a heat source during grilling, it can cause flareups of smoke and flames that contain carcinogens. So grilling vegetables using a vegetable-based oil like olive or canola is totally safe. (Ditto for firm-fleshed fruits.)
For taste-tested cancer-fighting recipes, visit the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.