Barbecue’s Hidden Dangers
If the thunderstorms, rising temperatures and fireworks haven’t clued you in yet, take heed: summertime is here with a vengeance. This is the time when all of us flock to beaches, lawns and anywhere else that promises a great time during the hottest (and most fun) season.
Yet for patients of weight loss surgery, summer presents many dangers that other seasons may not. Here in the North Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area, the weather may be nice enough to grill-out year round, but I’m sure you’ll notice an increasing prevalence of BBQs as we move further into the summer months. As your weight loss surgeon will tell you, many of this season’s favorite foods can be a complete disaster for your weight loss diet.
By carefully adhering to the stipulations of your weight loss program, you can avoid the temptation of these danger foods, but there are other dangers posed by barbecuing that even the most seasoned grill master may not be aware of. To keep your grilling as healthy as possible this summer, take a look at these relatively unknown dangers that cooking on the barbie can pose.
Charred Meat has Cancer Connection
If you like your meat cooked as done as done can be, here’s a word of caution: charring meat at high temperatures can cause it to form HCAs, which are carcinogenic compounds that are also found in cigarette smoke and have been linked to cancer in the colon, liver, skin, and stomach. Because HCAs collect predominantly in the burnt edges of a piece of meat, experts recommend cutting off these charred bits before eating, or simply turning down the heat as you’re cooking. Meat should be cooked enough to kill bacteria without excessively charring it—if you prefer your meat to be well-done, it may help to microwave it for a few minutes and pour off the juices before throwing it on the grill.
The Dangers of the Bristle Brush
Barbecues get dirty, but the bristle-headed brushes a lot of people use to clean them may not be as safe as we think. A recent report highlighted six different cases in which people have accidentally swallowed these coarse bristles, which can become stuck in the grates of the grill and embed themselves in the food you cook. All of these people got very sick very quickly and required hospitalization as a result.
Though the bristles of your cleaning brush may not be the first thing on your mind as you’re cooking up your favorite backyard fare, cases like these are becoming more and more common. Experts warn that grillers should be cautious of the hazard that these bristles can pose. You should be especially mindful when cooking meat, as all cases reported so far of this troubling problem have come in patients who cooked burgers, steaks or another kind of meat.
The temptingly fatty foods of barbecue season can be dangerous for weight loss surgery patients, but these lesser known hazards pose risks to anyone who enjoys grilling out. The next time you head to a friend or neighbor’s barbecue, be sure to share these unusual bits of grilling wisdom to help everyone stay healthy all summer long.