Hi, friends! This post is being republished from 2014, I always like going through old blog posts so I can find photos like this:
The funny part is we literally upgraded our grill to a gas grill last week, yep we’ve been rocking with that awesome coal grill since 2014. I will say that I loved our old grill, it did the job we wanted it too, but this new grill I can operate on my own without supervision, so that’s always a plus since I have a food blog and all.
Although, I will say I never describe it like that ever. I know that I post 2-3 new recipes per a week, but I still consider a lifestyle blog. Mostly because I hardly ever talk about the recipe I posted. #easilydistracted
Today I’m going to try and stay on topic for ten seconds. Let’s talk about heterocyclic amines (HCAs) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). I know, right. You are like hetero-o-ah-poly what? Girl, I feel you.
Here is what you need to know, these are potentially carcinogenic compounds created when meat (and chicken or fish) is cooked using a high-temperature method such as pan frying or over an open flame (see above for clarification of open flame).
What does potentially carcinogenic mean? It basically means that researchers suspect a link based on animal studies and population studies, but nothing has been proven yet. Since I wrote this post in 2014, there has been a significant influx of research continuing to suggest potential negative impacts on our health. (More Info). Lucky for us there are a few easy ways to reduce their formation and your exposure to them to these harmful compounds.
10 Healthy Grilling Tips
- Choose lean cuts of meats, chicken, and fish. The PAHs and HACs are created when the fat drips onto the flames.
- Trim excess fat and skin from meat and chicken. See above.
- Marinate meat in mixtures of oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and even beer! This reduces the formation of carcinogenic compounds.
- Pre-cook meat/ thaw in the microwave instead of on the grill to reduce the amount of time it is grilled for.
- For meats or chicken, cut into smaller cubes so that it will cook faster.
- Flip meat very frequently.
- Avoid exposure to flames by placing items over tin foil.
- Remove charred pieces of meat and avoid using drippings for gravy.
- Grill veggies to add cancer-fighting phytochemicals (veggies don’t form HCAs or PAHs)–> like the grilled Brussels Sprouts below!
- Clean the grill in between use.
- Chemicals Cooked in High Temperatures and Cancer Risk (National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet)
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Grilled Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lbs petite brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp blood orange avocado oil https://amzn.to/2xZnEqH
- 2 tbsp coconut amino terriyaki sauce https://amzn.to/2sXtN0L
Clean and wash brussel sprouts. Cut them in half if they are big.
Steam them for 3-4 minutes. You want them to be tender but slightly undercooked. Microwave times will vary if you use the microwave.
Toss them with avocado oil and teriyaki sauce
Add them to metal or wooden skewers.
Place them on top of metal foil for 5 minutes, turning half way through.
Remove foil from underneath and grill until desired crispiness is achieved (about 30 seconds to a minute for me). Remove from heat and skewers and enjoy!