Summer is traditionally the time for grilling and barbecues. Yet, The World’s Healthiest Foods has a warning for those who cook meat using high heat temperatures. You could be causing damage to your body without even realizing it.

Cooking temperatures that are considered “high heat” range from 250-450 degrees Fahrenheit. When this occurs, the heat has time to damage any nutrients in the food, which means that you get less nutritional benefit when you eat it. The World’s Healthiest Foods makes an exception for turkey, which requires a much extended period of time to cook and for the heat to do its damage.

If you try to boil your food for longer than three minutes you will begin to experience nutrient loss as well.

You may also be eating food that causes an increased risk for cancer if they were prepared at high heat. This is particularly true for foods that have been grilled or broiled using gas or charcoal. When this occurs heterocyclic amines or HA’s are released.  These are known to be cancer-causing. The longer the food is cooked at high heat, the higher the number of HA’s in your meal.

Instead of cooking at high heat, the World’s Healthiest Foods recommends:

  • Boiling for under three minutes under 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Avoid using direct flames to broil or grill.
  • If you grill and use oil, use oil that is derived from avocados, high-oleic safflower oil, and coconut oil.
  • Include foods with high citrus levels in your marinades. You can also use green tea and rosemary.

Overall, it is recommended to use other methods to cook food rather than grilling.  However, if you do want to grill doing so occasionally is probably okay.

Want to learn more about the dangers of cooking with high heat, and how it can affect your food? You can read the full post by the World’s Healthiest Foods here:  Unwanted Consequences of High Heat Cooking.