Adding a small amount of high quality animal products to an overall plant-based diet can be a healthy addition. But, don’t cook them without doing this, first!
HCA’s: What they Are & Why You Want to Avoid Them
Whenever any kind of meat, poultry, or seafood is grilled, fried, broiled, or barbecued, HCAs (heterocyclic amines) are formed. HCAs are carcinogenic, and have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers.
How to Reduce HCA’s in Meat & Seafood
If you’ve never cooked your meat with rosemary, start now.
While researching for my book The Real Food Grocery Guide, I discovered something that exemplifies the power of real foods.
A study published in The Journal of Food Science suggests that using rosemary or rosemary extract when cooking meat may significantly reduce the amount of HCAs formed – meaning less carcinogens in your meat!
Researchers applied rosemary extract on both sides of ground beef patties before cooking them at temperatures of either 375 degrees or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They discovered that the higher the concentration of rosemary, the greater the reduction in HCAs (in some cases by over 90 percent).
The protective effect is believed to be the result of at least three powerful antioxidants found in rosemary, including rosmarinic acid, carnosol, and carnosic acid, which might act synergistically to inhibit the formation of HCAs.
Research has also since found that turmeric can also effectively inhibit the formation of HCAs when cooking meat, as does a marinade of garlic and/or onion.
So, next time you fire up the grill, throw some rosemary (or a turmeric-garlic-onion marinade) on whatever you’re cooking.
For more fascinating tips like this one, be sure to check out my first book, The Real Food Grocery Guide.