Health & Fitness blog Uncategorized How to barbecue so as not to harm your health?

How to barbecue so as not to harm your health?

From spring to autumn we enjoy spending time with family and friends outdoors. We also like lunches under the cloud, which usually take the form of grilled food. Let’s take care of our health, which is also affected by barbecues. How to barbecue so as not to harm yourself and your loved ones?
Information about the harmful effects of barbecues on our health appears in the press and on the Internet. Can barbecues really harm us?   Advantages of barbecue Grilling Improper barbecue produces highly harmful substances. However, with certain rules, it can be a good way to make our diet more varied. Barbecues have their advantages: they give your food a unique taste and smell. It is also a good alternative to frying, as the products do not absorb any additional fat, on the contrary, the fat melts. However, we must remember that everything has its good and bad sides.   Negative effects of barbecue The main disadvantage – the formation of harmful compounds during barbecue is: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, mainly benzoapirene), heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCA), nitrosamines, acrylamide, oxidized sterols, chloropropanols and others; the source of harmful substances is the effect on fat, sugars and proteins at temperatures exceeding 120°C (during barbecue, temperatures up to 320°C affect food). As a result of intensive combustion of these ingredients, smoke is produced, which accumulates dangerous compounds. These, in turn, are absorbed into food and delivered to the body during direct contact of smoke with the product. In addition, we inhale the smoke from the air and deliver it to the lungs. Possible effects: toxic effects on body cells, and on the foetus (through the placenta), cancer formation, chronic headaches, poisoning. Side effects of barbecue: loss of valuable nutrients of the product, indigestion of the food obtained, especially when baked, excessive addition of salt from the often used ready-made spice mixtures for barbecue.   Rules of good barbecue In order to reduce the formation of harmful compounds while barbecuing, let’s remember a few rules: set the grill high, in the upper part of the barbecue, not just above the coal, use trays and aluminium foil that will limit direct contact of the product with the smoke and its production from the burnt fat, choose the right moment to start the barbecue: after burning the briquette or coal, let’s wait for the flame to go out and a light embershed. Products will need a little more time to bake thoroughly, but this will reduce the intensity of the formation of harmful compounds, let’s regulate the access of air – often in the side wall of the barbecue you can see a “window” which limits the excessive accumulation of smoke in the covered barbecue, if we use marinades – let’s add a minimum amount of fat to them or dry the meat from the excess just before grilling. It is also worth not adding alcohol, but herbs and spices are ideal (preferably fresh, e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano and garlic). They contain a large amount of antioxidants that limit the formation of harmful substances, let’s use mixtures of spices composed on their own, instead of ready ones, bought in the shop. However, if you are short of time – read the product label: there should be no salt in the spice mixes or it should be on the last place of the list of ingredients, choose good quality products, lean or medium-fat meat (poultry, loin). Divide them into portions 2-2.5 cm thick, and obtain juicy meat inside and browned outside. A thicker portion can burn quickly on the surface, but without baking the inner part, remember about vegetables – a low-calorie vitamin source containing antioxidants. The variety should be dinner salad or grilled vegetables such as zucchini, aubergine or pumpkin. When preparing vegetables for barbecue it is obligatory to wrap them in aluminum foil.   Let’s grill in moderation Finally, the most important rule: let’s grill in moderation – not every day, but rather “from Christmas”. Remember that compounds such as PAHs, HCA, acrylamide and others come not only from grilled products, but all smoked, fried, baked or extruded products, and contact with them is inevitable. Therefore, when barbecueing, it is worthwhile to follow the instructions given to reduce their consumption.

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