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Health Risks with Grilling

Marinated Grilled Pork- Erie PA

Let’s be safe about grilling

Ahh, warm weather is upon us and a great steak or piece of chicken off the grill sounds great doesn’t it? But beware seniors and all others that love the old BBQ! Many researchers have worried for years about health risks with  grilling foods. There is a unique taste that comes from grilling foods that isn’t produced by any other cooking technique. This summer lets all be a little more attentive to the foods we are cooking outdoors on the grill. If you are a Loving Hearts Home Care aide caring for a senior or any one else for that matter listen up, keep your clients, seniors and family safe!

What are  the health risks  with grilling?

The issue with grilling (according to The Doctors Book of Food Remedies) is that it causes certain compounds in meats to change into other compounds that are called heterocyclic amines. What are heterocylic amines you ask. These  particular compounds may increase the risk for cancer.  Burning, blackening or charring meat on the grill can carry some health risks. The amount of compounds depends on how well cooked the meat is and the temperature of the cooked meat. The health risks with grilling are these compounds mentioned are  associated with a heightened risk for a number of cancers. The National Cancer Institute says that the types of cancers at risk includes colorectal, pancreatic and prostate.

Safety Tips

So what is a senior grill chief supposed to do? The Doctors Book of Food Remedies has an idea for the problem. Its a one word  answer and it starts with  the letter “m”. Did you guess it? Marinade. The definition of marinade or marination (provided by Wikipedia) is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned , often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origin of the word alludes to the use of brine (aqua marina) in the pickling process , which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the” marinade”, can be either acidic (made with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine) or enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple or papaya). In addition to these ingredients, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items. Researchers have found that when medallions of chicken breasts were marinated or even dipped in a mixture of spices, olive oil and brown sugar before being grilled, they contained 90 percent less of the dangerous compounds that meats that were not marinated when cooked the same way. So, grilling seniors, home aides assisting in meal prep and all others give marination a try! And lastly, another rule of principle “Don’t eat the burned parts of the meat”.


For help with this topic and other senior meal prep or meal planning call us at 1-877-652-8048



Loving Hearts Home Care – Erie PA 16506 – 814-836-1147



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