Before You Use a New Grill, Read This!

Grill foods at a lower temperature to avoid the charring that can cause health concerns.

Charring Your Food Can Increase Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Summer is here! This weekend, folks will be firing up their grills and cooking some delicious meals. Whether it’s burgers and dogs, a juicy steak or tender chicken that’s been marinating all day, everyone loves a good cookout. But did you know that all that charbroiled goodness might come at a cost to your health.

A recent study found that cooking with methods that produce crust on food, such as grilling, pan-frying or baking on high heat, may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is associated with diabetes.

High-temperature cooking methods that form crust on food – such as the bits of charred meat on a burger – also create advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are linked to plaque formation in the arteries and result in long-term physical damage. This has greater implications for people with diabetes because they are already at-risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Grilling (particularly charring) of meat also forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are formed when amino acids and creatine (a chemical found in muscles) react at high cooking temperatures. Some HCAs are known carcinogens. Research at the United States National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer and Epidemiology and Genetics found a link between individuals with stomach cancer and the consumption of cooked meat. People who ate medium-well or well-done beef were more than three times as likely to suffer stomach cancer as those who ate rare or medium-rare beef.

How can you still enjoy the glorious grilling season? Use a lower temperature setting on your grill to eliminate charring and cook for a longer amount of time. Season your grill prior to each use with Canola oil. Canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids that are heart healthy. The oil will help eliminate charring and meat won’t stick to the grill. Plus, omega 3’s can help lower cholesterol and maintain your heart health, so you can still enjoy the summer BBQ.