Football season brings a new interest in grilling, especially when it comes to tailgate parties.
Overall, it's a healthy way to eat because the food isn't fried or breaded and barbecued foods tend to have fewer calories. But the dripping fat that puts the sizzle in your meat can also be a cancer risk.
"And so the easy solution there is first of all use as lean as possible, and also, try to cook it away, like some people will actually put a little bit of aluminum foil under the meat before they cook it. Simply scrape off that most charred part, because that's where you'll get the highest amount of these dangerous compounds," says Cheryl Rock, PhD, cancer researcher.
Cheryl says you can minimize the health risk, by cooking meat and fish at low or medium temperatures. You want to cook them enough, but not too much, because charred or blackened meat increase the risk of carcinogens.
Marinades and sauces might also reduce cancer risk. And Dr. Rock says, if you want to grill dinner, throw some fruits and veggies on the grill too, because they don't produce the potentially dangerous compounds that meats can make.
Instead, veggies and fruits, like pineapple, can help protect you from cancer, thereby off-setting the toxins you may get from grilling your meat.