Why eating grilled meat can cause cancer?

Grilled meat, smoked meat provide micronutrients for the body, but the processing process will produce some harmful substances, eating too much can cause cancer.

To preserve meat, people often use nitrite or nitrate (salt). These substances are not carcinogenic but under certain conditions (processing at high temperatures) they can combine with amino acids of meat to form compounds such as nitrosamines and nitrosamides, which are potentially carcinogenic. cancer. Many scientific studies show that regularly eating foods high in salt (including smoked meat) has a high risk of stomach cancer and high blood pressure. These factors increase the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer.

Grilled meat with fire, charcoal, or grilled in the oven, rotates, is harmful to health. When grilled meat on charcoal at a temperature of 500-600 degrees Celsius, the fat droplets flowing down the embers form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, which are carcinogenic. In the oven, at a temperature of 80-100 degrees Celsius, the creatine (or creatinine) in the meat will become heterocyclic aromatic amine (HCA). This substance when entering the liver will turn into a toxic substance, then go to the intestines, creating a risk of colon cancer.

Besides, the initial secretions, the meat juices that stick to the oven (which we often collect) are easily converted into HCA. If you eat for pleasure or regret, after a long time there is a risk of cancer. At temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius, many other types of HCA can form due to the breakdown of amino acids. These HCAs are located where the roast is burned. Therefore, eating grilled meat in particular or even any grilled food in general is also harmful to health.

The process of grilling meat produces many toxins, so it should be limited. Photo: Shutterstock

The degree of toxicity of harmful barbecue depends on how it is prepared. Grilling directly on a gas stove is very toxic, because the food will be burned at a fast rate and at high temperature, thereby producing AGE, a sustainable glycated compound, making food attractive. , the smell is very fragrant and the taste is delicious, crispy and pleasant. AGE substance will enter cells, blood vessels, tissues… and damage healthy tissue. Where protein is present, AGE will denature the protein, which is very dangerous because the human body is mainly made up of protein. If AGE moves to the brain, it will cause nerve damage, lying under the skin will make the skin wrinkled… Since then, the body will age faster than age.

More dangerous, AGE also causes cardiovascular, skeletal, neurological diseases… depending on the extent and migration into any organ, also creates chemical mediators such as aromatic amino acids, heterocyclic amines. .. causing cell mutations and cancer. Indirect baking on a gas stove through a pan of butter and fat at high temperatures… is also dangerous, because it also creates AGEs, aromatic amino acids, and heterocyclic amines that are toxic to the body. concentrations of these substances will be less.

Grilling food on charcoal, charcoal is also toxic. In addition to creating AGE substances, chemical intermediates such as aromatic amines, heterocyclic amines… charcoal baked goods also produce a number of other substances called baking powder. This substance will form carbohydrates that are burned at high temperatures, producing acrylamide, which is also a carcinogen. Grilling on a charcoal stove (both coal and charcoal) also produces a lot of CO. This gas is very dangerous to health if accidentally inhaled. CO combines with hemoglobin to form Med-hemoglobin, which causes paralysis because oxygen is not transported to the body.

Baking on induction cookers, electric stoves, and microwaves also produces toxic substances, but to a much lesser extent. Nutritionists recommend that users limit baking foods with oven temperatures above 300-500 degrees Celsius. Using an oven that doesn’t contact food directly on an open flame is best. Although grilled food is delicious, eating too much is not good. Each person should only eat in moderation, eat at intervals and eat in moderation. After eating grilled food once, you should rest for a week to a few weeks to remove all toxins from the body before eating again.

Cooking food on a gas stove is not recommended, because the gas itself is toxic. When grilling with a charcoal stove, an electric stove, or an induction cooker, it must be grilled in an open space, not in the dining room. Grillers should wear masks in the form of toxic gas filters to limit inhaling many toxins into the body. Prioritize lean meat more than fatty meat because when grilled, this fat melts into the coals, it will easily create carcinogens.

Doctor Nguyen Van Tien
Nutrition Education and Communication Center, Institute of Nutrition


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