Prevent Colon Cancer by Grilling Healthy Foods this Summer

Keri Tidwell

Prevent Colon Cancer by Grilling Healthy Foods this Summer

Ah, summer! The perfect time to get outdoors, try a new hobby or sport like gardening or water-skiing, go on a vacation, and give your diet a much-needed makeover.

One popular summer pastime is grilling out. While grilling can be a healthy way to prepare foods, it can also be hazardous to the health of your colon. First of all, eating a diet of red meats like beef, pork and lamb has been linked to colon cancer. So instead, choose chicken or fish and an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Secondly, eating charred meat on a regular basis can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 60 percent according to research led by Kristen Anderson, Ph.D. Consumption of grilled meat is also linked to an increased risk of colon, breast and stomach cancers. Cooking meats over high heat causes heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), two known carcinogens (Cross and Sinha).

Good Food to Grill

It’s a good practice to incorporate plant-based foods when eating grilled meats. By eating more fruits and vegetables, you will load up on fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Plus, grilling veggies brings out their natural sweetness. Try corn on the cob; thick slices of onion, bell peppers and tomatoes; or skewers of zucchini, squash and mushrooms on the grill. For an extra special summer treat, try grilled pineapple!

Healthy Grilling Tips:

  • Avoid nitrite-rich foods like brats, hot dogs and sausages
  • Keep the grill temperature low (under 325 degrees) to avoid flare-ups
  • Use a sugar-free marinade to reduce carcinogen consumption
  • Cut off any char
  • Cook to proper temperatures (i.e., don’t undercook!)
  • Clean grill thoroughly after use to remove charred foods stuck to the surface

While you’re grilling out, get outside and spend some fun time with friends and family. Get outdoors, even if you prefer to be in. Go swimming, fishing or hiking. Have a picnic, run through the sprinklers, go white water rafting or plant a garden. Get some Vitamin D from the sunshine. Sweat a little. Exercise and eat healthy.

If you are due for a colonoscopy and haven’t made your appointment yet, do that here!

Enjoy your summer and stay healthy!

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