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What are the risks of eating grilled meat?

Summer is grilling season for most of us, but all that sizzle and smoke on the grill can contribute cancer-causing chemicals to food. Those heat-generated chemicals have been linked to breast, stomach, prostate and colon cancer.

There are two cancer-related risk factors from grilling. Whether you're using a gas or charcoal grill, research has shown that high-heat grilling can convert proteins in red meat, pork, poultry and fish into heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are linked to several cancers.

Another cancer-causing agent, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), forms when fat and juices from animal products drip on the heat source. As the smoke rises, it can stick to the food and be consumed. That's where the main cancer-causing compound occurs in grilling, so you want to reduce the exposure to that smoke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.