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Grilling Food Appropriately Can Reduce Cancer Risk: Study

Update Date: Jun 18, 2012 08:46 PM EDT

A latest study claims that grilling food appropriately could be a step towards prevention of cancer.

The study says that avoiding a lot of beef, processed meats and overcooking food could help prevent cancer.

"Two aspects of the traditional American cookout, what you grill and how you grill it, can potentially raise cancer risk," Alice Bender, a dietitian with the American Institute for Cancer Research, said in an institute news release.

"Diets that feature big portions of red and processed meat have been shown to make colorectal cancer more likely. Evidence that grilling itself is a risk factor is less strong, but it only makes sense to take some easy cancer-protective precautions," she added, according to a report in Health Day.

When food gets charred while cooking, it forms cancer-causing compounds, Bender explains.

Bender has given certain ways to grill more safely:

- Prefer fish or chicken to hamburgers and hotdogs.

- Marinating food in vinegar or lemon and leaving it on for 30 minutes can be beneficial and reduces the formation of HCAs(Heterocyclic amines).

- Pre-cooking or partially cooking the meat before exposing it to high heat on the grill reduces HCAs formation.

- Meat should be quickly transferred from the kitchen to the grill.

- It is advised to cook meat on a low heat and cut off the visible fat to avoid high flames or flare-ups.

- Grilling a wider variety of colorful fruits and vegetables instead of meat helps people increase their intake of phytochemicals which protect against cancer.

- One can brush the vegetable with olive oil in order to avoid sticking of the food.

- Fruits should be grilled two days before they completely ripe so that it does not lose its texture.

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