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Summertime, and outdoor living, is upon us. Here are some of the healthy things about outdoors in summertime:
Outdoors in summertime also means to many people, increased opportunities for barbecues and eating grilled meats, fish, and poultry. The rest of this e-newsletter is devoted to the health issues associated with grilling meats, fish, and poultry. The information is taken from Dr. Feingold's new book, Take Charge of Your Kitchen: Nutrition for the 21st Century. As soon as Dr. Feingold finds a publisher for her new book, she will announce it on her website drellenfeingold.com.
Beware of grilling meats, fish, and poultry
Why? Barbecuing and grilling over coals at high temperatures leads to the formation and accumulation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), both of which are carcinogenic agents, especially raising the risk for prostate cancer. The most common HCA is PhIP. High PhIP levels are related to a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prevent the accumulation of HCAs by marinating your meats, fish, or poultry for at least 30 minutes before grilling over the coals.
Include rosemary in your marinade: Rosemary decreases the amount of HCAs created from grilling meats, poultry, and fish.
Beer marinades also decreases HCAs.
Beware: HCAs are formed when pan frying and broiling as well as grilling. It's the high temperatures and cooking meats to "well done" that causes the accumulation of HCAs.
Grill until well done, but not very well done, so that juices run clear. Do not eat the charred or blackened parts.
Discard left over marinade because it has come into contact with raw meat, fish, or poultry.
Use a dry rub (only the dry ingredients below) if you don't have enough time for marinade before grilling.
Always include rosemary leaves. Rosemary grows easily in most sunny gardens. Try growing it in yours.
Here's my recipe for spicy marinade: Measure 2 tbsp ground garlic (or 2-4 cloves crushed raw garlic), 1 tbsp ground turmeric, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp lemon pepper, 1 tsp Mrs. Dash's herbal blend or Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle, and ¼ cup of dried or fresh rosemary and thyme combined. Mix all these together in a deep dish. Add ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup rice, wine, or cider vinegar, ½ cup water or orange juice, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Mix. This yields enough marinade for steak or fish or chicken to feed six people. Wash off your meat, fish or poultry under cold, running water. You may choose to remove the skin of your poultry at this point. Blot with paper towel. Add pieces to marinade dish. Leave covered in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Here's a list of cooking methods to decrease HCAs:
The bottom line: If you use the grill, do so infrequently, and use these tips to decrease the amount of HCAs you ingest.
[Some of this information has been adapted from "How to cut the HCAs", Nutrition Action HealthLetter, September 2008, p10 and "Good Grilling" Nutrition Action HealthLetter, June 2009, p6].
If you have any questions about anything in this e-newsletter, please e-mail me. Be sure to put "e-newsletter" in the subject line.