Medical research has found a link between food items roasted at high temperatures and cancer BUT, there seems to be some precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of cancer accompanying the consumption of these food items.
The major process by which these food items produce carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances is: during preparation, the food items (suya, boli and barbeque) are cooked over an open fire, and oil from them undergo complex chemical reactions that produce toxins that are carcinogenic in nature. Meat cooked over open flame often causes the formation of toxic compounds known as Heterocyclic Amines, HCAs, which are carcinogenic compounds. The more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher the concentration of carcinogenic HCAs formed.
But, nutritionists and medical experts have given a breather as to how the risk of cancer can be reduced while consuming these them. Let’s take a look.
Suya garnished with lots of onions and other vegetables, has a strong cancer-lowering effect. This is because, cancer is due to oxidative processes in the body and onions are powerful antioxidants that effectively stop the oxidative process caused by consumption of suya from happening. For this reason, it is important to eat plenty of onions and other vegetables with the suya to counter the oxidative processes.
Lower the temperature on your gas grill to prevent meat from burning. Ideally, use a barbecue that has a temperature control dial.
Marinate your meat to create a barrier between it and the formation of HCAs.
Use a smokeless BBQ with a built-in battery-powered fan such as the Lotus Grill to stop the BBQ from smoking and prevent carcinogens from being inhaled.
Switch to seafood, which typically forms fewer HCAs than meat and requires a shorter cooking time.
Opt for leaner meats and trim any fat off before grilling to reduce dripping and flame flare-ups.
Cut down on grill time by oven-roasting or pan-searing meat first.
Clean your grill after use to avoid transferring leftover chemicals.
Cut meat into smaller portions to reduce cooking time and flip food over frequently.
If you do nothing else, pick off the burnt bits before eating.
The best way to cook plantain is to steam it for a short period, that way, the nutrient is not dissolved and lost. But if you must roast it, do not roast it for long or let it be charred.
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