Heterocyclic Amines (HCA's)
Are compounds created when red meats, chicken, pork, and fish are cooked at a high temperature, well done, or cooked for a long time.
BBQ's are excellent for making HCA's. HCA's are suggested to increase the risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer.
Increasing cooking temp from 200C to 250C increases HCA content by 300%
Is there any good news?
Microwaving meats for 2 minutes can reduce HCA content by up to 90%, especially if you dump out any water with the meats you zapped in the mirco before they hit the BBQ.
Using a rosemary and thyme marinade can decrease HCA's by 60 to 80%.
HCA's are bad, but we can control the formation of them by altering our cooking methods. Enjoy your BBQ!
hmm.. you know I can't help but mention that while enjoying the BBQ find a way to get around the temptation to eat too much meat. For those who love the BBQ it's a no brainer that eating more feels very satisfying, but even though you may have made the changes mentioned here to limit HCA production, overeating is another concern and is super easy to do with BBQ'd meats.
We only need one helping off about 100g (around 3 oz) of meat to get the protein and other nutrients we get from meat. Double or triple up on your servings and you'll be overeating, which means fat gain. Also, we can't deal with large amounts of protein very well and when too much protein is consumed at one time it stresses the kidneys. Additionally the extra protein will either be lost in your urine or stored as body fat.
Keep the BBQ as a feature of your meal, but make sure that you're eating more veggies and grains/ starches than meat. Put together a tasty spinach salad and some quinoa with kidney beans and chickpeas to make your BBQ rewarding to both your palate and your health.
So extra helpings of BBQ meats really means extra body fat, stressed kidneys, and wasted protein.
Did I say enjoy your BBQ? :-)
You can, just get used to eating less and watch out for those nasty HCA's..
Meat, especially if it's well done, may increase risk of bladder cancer
Heterocyclic Amines in Cooked Meats - National Cancer Institute