Even though we haven’t seen much of the sun here in Kelowna, it is in fact summertime. One of my favourite parts of summer is the barbeques. But, did you know that cooking meats at high temperatures can increase carcinogen formation in the food?  That’s right, our favourite grilled meats, including fish, can bring with them a serving of cancer-causing compounds.  High consumption of barbecued and/or fried meats has been linked to increased risks of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. But there are steps you can take to make those grilled meats healthier, without losing any of the taste.

  • Marinate the meats before grilling and/or wrap the meats with foil to stop the juices
    from hitting the flame directly.
  • Use lower temperatures when possible and/or cook at high temperatures for shorter
    periods. While it may sound unappetizing, cooking your meat for a couple of minutes in the microwave before putting it on the barbeque can drastically reduce the amount of carcinogens that are produced, without greatly altering the taste and texture.
  • Be sure to scrape off any charred bits that might be on the meat after it’s cooked.
  • Serve your grilled meats with a healthy portion of antioxidant-rich veggies to neutralize some of the risk from the grilled meats.

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And remember, clean your barbeque regularly.  Happy grilling!


If you are in Kelowna or the greater Okanagan and would like to get more individualized guidance from a dietitian, contact us today!