Fourth of July is prime grilling time. Seven hundred million pounds of chicken and 190 million pounds of beef are purchased in the week leading up to Independence Day. And we all know they’re headed for the grill grates.
But did you know that grilled animal proteins can become coated in cancer-causing carcinogens?
The combination of heat and meat allows for heterocyclic amines (HCAs)–cancer-causing chemicals–to form. Frequent consumption of HCAS has been linked to increased risk of colon cancer, as I talked about in this video.
There’s one simple way to cut exposure to carcinogens. The good news is that the strategy also happens to add great flavor, too.
All you have to do is marinate your meats. This pre-grilling step can cut your HCA exposure by 77 percent. Antioxidants in rosemary are particularly effective and reducing chemical buildup.
For this reason, one of my favorite go-to marinades for chicken and beef is two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh crushed rosemary. (I shared additional marinade ideas with Men’s Fitness, which you can find here.)
And the marinade featured in my Ginger Sesame Salmon can be used on most types of fish and seafood.
Cheers to healthier grilling this Fourth of July, and throughout the summer!