Archive for May, 2010

Excerpt from post on Dr Mercola website.

The conventional nutritional dogma in the United States says you should limit the amount of meat you eat, especially red meat, because of its potential to harm your health.

Well, one of the reasons why eating meat is linked to heart disease and cancer often has little to do with the meat itself, and everything to do with how it’s cooked.

Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, broiling, etc., some pretty nasty chemicals are created:

  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs): These form when food is cooked at high temperatures, and they’re linked to cancer. In terms of HCA, the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures (including when it is pasteurized or sterilized), it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. When you eat the food, it transfers the AGEs into your body. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

It’s a given that eating meat, or any food, that contains these chemicals is not healthy. But what researchers are now uncovering is that adding spices and marinades to your meat before cooking can drastically cut down on the level of harmful substances created.

Before You Grill Another Burger or Cook Another Steak …

Get out your arsenal of spices and mix up a blend to use on beef, one for chicken and another for lamb or any other type of meat you cook on a regular basis.

In the latest study, adding a spice blend to burgers reduced the level of malondialdehyde, a chemical marker for oxidation, in the meat by 71 percent and levels in participants’ urine by 49 percent.

This benefit likely comes from spices’ potent antioxidant content. On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants too.

You can experiment with a range of spices, as each will have a unique set of health benefits to offer, but even the popular stand-bys will help to boost the medicinal value of your meal. For instance, for the above study researchers used a blend of:

  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

You can use the spices as a dry rub or mix them up into a healthy marinade. Choose those that appeal most to you flavor-wise, or alternatively you can choose them according to their health benefits too.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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