Research has shown that the consumption of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals considered to be highly damaging to our genetic material. Studies have shown that higher levels of PAHs in the urine are associated with poor sperm quality and cancer in men. Unfortunately, grilling is one of those cooking methods that can create them. This is formed from the combination of not only the amino acids from the meat but the addition of sugars and extremely high temperature. But don’t throw out the Weber or Green Egg quite yet. Moderation is key and always remember that it is the frequency of how often you are indulging that matters most.
So remember these Fertility Friendly Grilling Tips:
- Use moderation. Grilling once a week is fine but not every night.
- Avoid “flame-ups.” When fat drips onto hot coals, PAHs are formed and the resulting vapor is re-absorbed by the meat.
- Choose lean meats and trim excess fat from meat before it hits the grill.
- Discard charred meats. Where you see black and burnt, PAHs have been released and re-absorbed.
- Serve fresh, raw vegetables on the side of your grilled meal. The antioxidants in fresh vegetables combat DNA damage from PAHs.
- Add onions to your meal. At least one study in mice shows that onions (especially red onions) contain a compound called quercetin that may protect sperm damage by PAHs. Add fresh onions, not grilled onions.
- Avoid nitrates and liquid smoke products.