Cancer-causing toxins in your Independence Day BBQ? - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Cancer-causing toxins in your Independence Day BBQ?

Independence Day is the perfect occasion for Americans to bring out the meat and grills, but before you fire up those grills, beware.

"Barbecuing too fast at too high heat releases these bad chemicals from the muscle of the meat," said Dr. Gary Gross, Medical Oncologist at Blood and Cancer Center of East Texas.

So what are these cancerous toxins released in meat?

"They're called hydrocarbons and amines. So when those amines and hydrocarbons are released which happens with exposure of very high temperatures for long periods of time, those are the bad guys that we really don't want to be inhaling," said Dr. Gross. 

There are healthier ways to prevent eating these toxins.

1.) You can precook your food in the microwave to lessen time on the grill.

2.) Marinating your meat will keep it cooler so that it won't reach the hotter temperatures that release these toxins.

3.) Avoid eating charred parts of the meat.

4.) Regularly flipping your meat will help restrict these toxins from releasing.

These tips may actually make your meat taste better too!

Dr. Gross also advises people to choose healthier meats when they grill.

"Processed meats like sausages and hot dogs do have a lot more of these bad chemicals in them so if we're going to mix the grill, we want to use meats that are pure chicken or beef and that have not been processed," said Dr. Gross.

These toxins may send people packing up their grills, but that's the last thing Dr. Gross is encouraging.

"I want to live to see the 5th of July so I'm not going to tell people not to barbeque. It's a special day; you know everybody is going to be out barbecuing and enjoying every bite of it," said Dr. Gross.

Although barbecuing has not been proven to cause cancer, these are a few tips to help you have a happy and healthier Independence Day.

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