Author: Dr. Bridget
Grilling season has arrived!
As we celebrate Summer, let us use these days of sunshine for play and sociability, for spending time outside and for moving your body. This weekend remember to stay hydrated with water, electrolytes and other nourishing beverages like chia water or water kefir. This will help keep your muscles fluid, skin healthy, and your immune system balanced.
What about the eats? Whether veggies or meats, I know I’ll be grilling this weekend. But is grilled food bad for you?
There’s nothing more natural, more primal than eating something cooked over a fire, but you may have heard that grilled foods could be unhealthy.
The truth is they can be. High temperature cooking, especially grilling, can create some pretty toxic compounds including heterocyclic amines (HCAs), advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These are all considered carcinogenic, and instigators of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other inflammatory issues.
HCAs and AGEs are formed when proteins and sugars react at high temperatures. The highest levels of these compounds are found in animal proteins, but these, or related, compounds can be found in many foods cooked at high temperatures, especially those that are fried, browned or blackened.
PAHs are formed differently, as they are a product of carbon combustion. As fats and juices drip into grill fires, the flames rise up, bringing with them PAHs that adhere to whatever is cooking.
Instead, enjoy in moderation and try following these simple harm reduction practices. You may find some to be a tasty addition to your grilling routine!
Depending on one’s level of health, there are often ways to work-around some of the potentially negative effects of our less healthy habits. I strongly believe that enjoying what you love is good for your health, and so is balance!
To your health,
For more summertime soothing and delicious recipes, check out our new Summer Cleanse guide!
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