Grilled meat consumption increases the risk of high blood pressure

Grilled Meat

Regular consumption of grilled meat or fish would increase the risk of high blood pressure. According to results presented at the American Heart Association Conference, the consumption of grilled meat is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure .

This conclusion is based on the study of three American cohorts, totaling more than 100,000 participants, followed for more than 12 years. In the participants who are used to eating meat or fish (at least twice a week), researchers have found an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

For example, participants who consume their meat well-done had a 15% higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure. As for those who usually eat meat on the grill or on the barbecue – be it beef, chicken or fish – they were 17% more likely to be hypertensive.

Blame it on combustion

“Chemical compounds produced by cooking meat or fish at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance in animal studies,” says lead author of the study Gang Liu of Harvard Medical School. “These mechanisms may also be responsible for an increased risk of hypertension. ”

If the risk exists regardless of the type of meat, it is that these compounds — aromatic heterocyclic amines (AHAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — are produced by any combustion of organic matter. These products of combustion are also strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer (kidney, pancreas, breast, colon) among fans of grilled meat.

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Light the fire… but not too often

“Our results suggest that it would be possible to reduce the risk of high blood pressure by not eating cooked meat or fish and avoiding cooking at high temperatures, including grilling and barbecuing,” says Liu.

For barbecue enthusiasts, the National Cancer Institute through its cancer.gov website provides a series of tips to limit the risk of ingestion of these compounds, including using of a microwave to cook the meat prior to exposing it to high temperatures, avoiding exposing the meat to open flames and hot metals, using of clean charcoal and lean meats (the combustion of fat promotes PAHs), and continuously turning the meat to reduce HCA formation.

Moreover, you should also marinate your meat before cooking it and avoid eating charred parts.

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Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.