Start by choosing quality meat, chicken, and fish
Look for sustainably raised, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken. Buy wild fish or organic farm-raised fish if you can; salmon is particularly healthy, as it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid swordfish and tuna, which have higher concentrations of mercury.
Animals are healthiest when raised in their natural environment, and healthy meat comes from healthy animals. Eating sustainably raised animals also means that you’ll avoid the negative effects of excess hormones and antibiotics often fed to factory-raised animals. Here are other healthy protein options.
Marinate before you grill
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Marinades not only make grilled foods taste better, they may also make them safer. A chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California found that marinating chicken in simple mixture of olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and brown sugar reduced carcinogenic compounds in the finished product by more than 90 percent. Researchers don’t know why; they suspect that marinating draws out chemical precursors of carcinogens. Make sure to check out this foolproof guide to grilling.
Where there’s smoke, there’s cancer risk
Grilling meat, poultry, or fish, whether over wood, charcoal, or gas, exposes the food—and whoever eats it—to two separate carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents. The first are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); the second, heterocyclic amines (HCAs), develops in meat, poultry, and fish that is cooked over high heat. It may be difficult for you fans of charred steaks, hamburgers, and chicken to change your tastes, but at the very least, eat well-charred meat sparingly. (You’ll still want to cook meat completely, to make sure you eliminate illness-causing bacteria like E. coli.) Some people say that meat also causes cancer. Here are the things every meat lover needs to know about whether that is true or not.