From juicy prime steaks and burgers to saucy grilled chicken and spicy sausage, who doesn’t love the traditional flame-broiled fare of a backyard barbecue? Eighty percent of American homeowners have an outdoor grill, and 42 percent use it at least once a week.
Yet, many people don’t know that grilled food may increase your risk of developing some cancers, including colorectal cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Most people, including cancer patients, don’t need to avoid grilling altogether. Research shows that cancer risk depends on how often you eat grilled fare, your cooking method, and the types of foods you choose.
“Grilling can occasionally be a healthy cooking method, but you need to be careful,” says Carolyn Lammersfeld, MBA, MS, RD, CSO, LD, Vice President of Integrative Medicine at City of Hope Atlanta, Chicago, and Phoenix. So, before hosting your next BBQ, know the healthy and unhealthy ways to fire up the grill and some good-for-you food choices.