July Fourth is nearly here, and chances are your weekend plans include at least some grilling.
Check out the following cooking tips from registered dietitian Elizabeth Murray to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
The dangers of grilling
“When it comes to grilling, there are two main dangers to avoid: carcinogens, which are agents that can cause cancer, and food poisoning,” according to a statement from Murray provided by Georgia Regents University.
The dripping fat on a grill can cause hazardous smoke. But Murray says grillers should be more concerned about cooking meat with extremely high heat, especially if they eat a lot of it.
Why? Because high heat — above 400 degrees Fahrenheit — produces chemicals in meat that are linked to cancer.
“Research shows that people who eat large amounts of grilled, barbecued and well-done red meats have higher cancer risks.”
Eliminating meat from the menu may be too much for some grillers to bear.
“However, if you increase your antioxidant intake, you can help counteract the cancer risk. So pairing your barbecued meat with a fruit salad or fresh vegetables is a great idea,” Murray adds. “Remember, the more colorful, the better.”
It’s also important to avoid undercooking.
“Meat must cook completely and thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella,” Murray shares. “Always check the