Barbecues are traditional summer cuisine. When the heat turns up, there is nothing more popular than eating outside with friends, cooking over a fire, be it gas, wood or charcoal, usually pieces of meat, like hamburgers or sausages.
Leaving aside the environmental problems of cooking with an open fire and assuming that we all collaborate so that our forests and gardens are kept clean and free of garbage, the only problem that we have left to remedy is the nutritional one. How healthy is cooking on the barbecue? What can we do so that our children get the best of this summer kitchen?
First of all, we have to bear in mind that barbecued or grilled meats are not very healthy. Its cooking, especially if it is done too much, showing excessively toasted or charred areas, generates heterocyclic amines (HA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), carcinogenic in nature in studies carried out in experimental animals.
It is evident that, as in everything, we speak of excessive consumption, that is, it is the consumption of barbecued meats several times a week which almost doubles the risk of suffering from various types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, one of the most lethal, according to the most current research.
Moreover, apart from other factors, it seems that the diet contributes around 40% to the appearance and development of tumors, so it is in our power to reduce this percentage by adapting both what we eat and the way we eat. cook it.
Although we focus on meats and these seem to be the only culprits, this type of waste, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, can be generated in any food rich in protein, such as fish or shellfish, which, if overcooked, can be just as dangerous as meats.
However, other foods, such as vegetables - corn on the cob, zucchini, onion, aubergines, tomatoes or peppers - or, why not, fruits - pineapple is the most popular -, They do not have this disadvantage, and can easily be included in summer barbecues.
It is not necessary to be alarmed, since by taking small precautions, we can control the risk that heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons pose to health. Picking small parts we can limit the cooking time, and thus minimize the formation of these dangerous residues. Additionally, by wrapping the pieces of meat or fish in paper suitable for the grill, we can avoid undesirable direct contact with the fire, avoiding the appearance of charred areas, where these compounds are centralized.
You can read more articles similar to How to make a healthy boat for children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.