By Miles Hassell, M.D., internist and co-medical director, Providence Integrative Medicine Program, and co-author, Good Food, Great Medicine
Nobody wants to be reminded that grilling – one of the most savored of all summer rituals – can increase the risk of cancer. Talk about a sure-fire way to spoil a barbecue.
While it's true that studies of people who eat a lot of grilled meat, especially well-done red meat, do show a moderate increase in the risk of certain cancers, I'm here to argue that grilling has gotten a bit of a bad rap. There are several ways to minimize or even eliminate the unhealthy aspects of grilling so you can continue to enjoy your summer gatherings around the barbecue. Here are seven risk-reducing tips you can put into practice so you can have your steak and eat it, too.
And did I mention vegetables? This is without a doubt the most important advice I can give for a healthy, cancer-fighting diet, so it bears repeating: Eat more vegetables. Lots more. Their cancer-fighting power is well documented. Here are four delicious ways to balance your meals with more vegetables:
As an added bonus, foods that reduce cancer risk generally reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other diseases as well. So when you're grilling this summer, dish up a sensible serving of lightly grilled meat, poultry or fish and fill the rest of your plate with fresh, colorful vegetables to celebrate summer, life and the great outdoors – in good health.
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