Havonnah Johnson, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Grilling certain meat can cause cancer, that's according to a new study published by the National Cancer Institute. The culprit is all protein, it doesn't matter if its red meat, poultry or seafood.
According to the study, the char marks that make BBQ taste great, also creates chemical compounds that are linked to cancer.
"You need a variety, I think and we try to do a lot of chicken, pork and beef but I try to mix it up a lot of vegetables," Patty Douglas said.
Meat cooked on an open flame creates the chemical compound that may contribute to cancer.
"Since I have read about it you do think about it. But I grew up on this and I am 54 years old we are OK," Douglas said.
News 9's Dr. Mary Ann Bauman says you would have to consume lot of grilled meat to create enough carcinogens for an elevated risk of cancer, yet the warning shouldn't be ignored.
"The process of the cooking is what does it. The PAH's (in the grilled meat) are what you see in cigarette smoke car exhaust so these are other sources of it as well," Bauman said.
Bauman said grilling vegetables or fruit is the way to go. If you are a meat eater, precooking your protein and finish it off on the grill is a healthier way to enjoy the same meats.
Consuming charred meat is shown to cause cancer in organs including the stomach, colon, liver and skin, but only in animal studies.