While many think of heat stroke and sun exhaustion as the main summer health risks, there’s a dangerous threat to our health that many aren’t aware of, and it has to do with a favorite summer activity. It can fuel diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and speed up the aging process—putting us at risk for chronic diseases and even cancer. What is it? Grilled or barbecued food, especially red meat. Studies show that it can be damaging to your health and leave long-term effects if you don’t protect yourself.
What are the health risks of barbecue?
BBQ can burn your health in many ways. First, eating red processed meat covered in sugary sauces poses numerous health risks to our bodies like increased risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. While choosing organic meat and produce, and opting for natural ingredients are great first steps, the real problem is when you cook meat at high temperatures. When you barbecue red meat at high heat, the burning process creates toxic compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and others. When consumed, these highly unstable compounds can harm your body, fuel oxidative stress, and damage cells and DNA. This fuels inflammation and can cause illness like cancer, while accelerating the aging process.
Other harmful, pro-aging proteins produced by BBQ are called, ironically, AGEs: “Advanced Glycation End products.” AGEs trigger uncontrolled inflammation, cause cells to age prematurely and increase our risks of chronic diseases. AGEs are particularly bad for people with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity. After refined sugar, barbecue meat is the next biggest dietary source of these dangerous proteins. When meats are cooked to a crisp, they generate the same AGEs that the body produces when you eat a lot of sugar and other inflammatory foods. Inflammation in the body is just like cooking over an open flame: cells, tissues and organs get burnt out and age much faster.
The good news is, advanced research is demonstrating how to avoid these health impacts, so you can still enjoy your go-to summer barbecue recipes, while protecting your health from the inside out.
How To Protect Your Body From Barbecue Health Risks
Antioxidants are the secret to protecting and preventing damage that can occur when eating grilled or barbecue meats and foods. When used in your summer recipes, you get healthy antioxidant support, and can still enjoy delicious summer foods. Research shows that by marinating meat with special spices, herbs and other natural ingredients that contain an abundance of antioxidants, you can reduce the harmful free radical compounds that end up on your plate.
Healthy Herbs And Antioxidant-Rich Spices For Your Summer Recipes:
The Best Antioxidant Supplements
In addition to adding culinary herbs to your recipes, there are a number of powerful antioxidant supplements that are shown to actively prevent the formation of these toxic compounds in the body, and protect your cells, organs and tissues from the threats of damage.
One extensively researched, mega antioxidant supplement I recommend in my practice prevents the damage and risks that can happen to your DNA and cells when exposed to these compounds from barbecue foods. Based on a natural Tibetan herbal blend, this formula contains powerful plant compounds that neutralize these free radicals and defend against oxidative stress and damage to the body. This antioxidant supplement is shown in published data to prevent the formation of AGEs, making it a researcher-recommended supportive formula that helps with prevention of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as other long-term diseases.1
Another key supplement is clinically researched and proven Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP). With over 70 published studies in chronic, inflammatory diseases, this super-nutrient offers powerful defense for cells and protects against unhealthy inflammation and free radicals. Its unique ability to control a master pro-inflammatory protein in the body called galectin-3, has made it the subject of numerous independent studies showing its ability to halt and even reverse some of the most serious conditions we face today—from cancer to cardiovascular disease, and other conditions linked to pro-aging foods like barbeque. MCP is also a powerful detoxifying agent, clinically proven to detoxify the body of harmful heavy metals and toxins from our diets and other sources. In terms of protecting our body’s cells, tissues and organs against the impacts of inflammation and free radical damage, MCP is key.2
With the right support from antioxidants and nutrients, we can help defend against chronic disease like diabetes and cancer, and protect ourselves from health risks we face daily.
Grzebyk E, Piwowar A. The Tibetan herbal medicines Padma 28 and Padma Circosan inhibit the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGE) and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) in vitro. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 5;14:287.
Eliaz I, Raz A. Pleiotropic Effects of Modified Citrus Pectin. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 1;11(11):2619.