© 2018 by Sanford Severin, MD

Dr. Sanford L. Severin

San Ramon, CA 94582 USA


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Is It Safe to Eat BBQ Foods?

November 2, 2017

What a question to ask. Is it safe to eat BBQ foods? After all it is an American tradition to barbeque. How can it be unsafe?

It turns out that  grilling and cooking meats at high temperatures creates cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines.

When the fat from the meat drips on the coals the resulting smoke can coat the meat with other dangerous chemicals. What is the bottom line? You do not need to stop grilling, but you can reduce the risk choosing lean cuts and trimming excess fat. Marinate the meat before you grill it and use lower heat. Avoid charring the meat and reduce the cooking time by precooking in a microwave or oven and finishing on the grill. 

Finally consider eating less meat and more vegetarian. This is not only a good way to reduce your cholesterol, but in addition when vegetables are grilled there is little if any formation of harmful compounds. The bottom line is that you can make grilling safer by following a few common sense guidelines.


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