4 tips so that barbecuing is no longer toxic and carcinogenic

The arrival of summer is synonymous with the powerful comeback of grilling and the joys associated with preparing meals al fresco. But now grilling has a major flaw, it produces toxic and carcinogenic elements. One of the great qualities of grilling is that it can reach a very high temperature, which greatly speeds up the cooking speed of food. However, these high temperatures lead to significant changes in the structure of molecules, especially in high-protein and high-fat foods such as meat. Under these charring conditions, compounds called heterocyclic amines, molecules with high carcinogenic potential, are formed. Many studies have observed an increased risk of colon and pancreatic cancer in people who take large amounts.

Fortunately, it’s possible to enjoy the joys of grilling while minimizing exposure to these toxins with a few simple and effective tips.

Tips to prevent the grill from being poisonous

Here are some basic principles that can significantly reduce the harmful effects associated with incineration:

1) Marinate meat as many times as possible (at least 45 minutes) before grilling, as is common practice in kitchens around the world that use this style of cooking. A simple olive oil, garlic and lemon juice marinade reduces the formation of carcinogenic compounds from cooking by 99%. Studies have also shown that adding herbs like rosemary, oregano, and sage, or even certain spices like turmeric and ginger, also reduces levels of carcinogenic molecules in grilled meat. Not to mention that the phytochemicals found in these spices and herbs have multiple beneficial effects and add even more flavor to the food…

2) Choose leaner cuts of meat and avoid charring by turning them regularly and observing them as they cook.

3) Vary the menu by grilling fish and vegetables. Grilling doesn’t necessarily mean eating red meat! For example,

many high-fat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sardines, mackerel, trout or salmon, are particularly good for grilling and are other interesting options, both for taste and for health.

4) On the veg side, peppers, aubergines, zucchini or even certain mushrooms are perfect for grilling and make a notable complement to grilled meats. Summer remains the preferred time of year to consume our 5-10 servings of vegetables a day and grilling should help us achieve this noble but how difficult goal…


Meat consumption, methods of preparation, mutagens and recurrence of colorectal adenomas. Carcinogenesis 28 (9), 2019-2027, *Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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