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General Practice 2023

Understand why barbecue smokeça can be harmful

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Understand why barbecue smokeça can be harmful
Understand why barbecue smokeça can be harmful

Barbecue is a practical and fun way to get family and friends together to have a meal at home, however, this type of activity can be harmful to he alth, especially if done more than 2 times per month.

This happens because, while it is cooking, the meat releases fat that falls on the charcoal and flames, causing smoke to appear. This smoke is usually made up of hydrocarbons, a type of substance that is also present in cigarettes and has been identified as potentially carcinogenic.

When hydrocarbons are inhaled with smoke, they are able to quickly reach the lungs and irritate their walls, causing small changes in the DNA of cells that, over time, can cause mutations that can turn into cancer.

Also know the risks of eating burnt food.

How to eliminate barbecue smoke

The greater the amount of smoke, the greater the amount of hydrocarbons in the air and, therefore, the greater the risk of developing lung problems, especially in people who work in restaurants or have frequent barbecues.

In these cases, there are some precautions that can be used to reduce contact with carcinogenic substances, such as:

  • Leave the meat marinating with rosemary, thyme or pepper: the seasoning prevents the fat from dripping onto the charcoal when grilling, in addition to increasing the flavor;
  • Pre-cooking the meat in the oven: removes some of the fat and reduces the time the meat needs to be on the charcoal, reducing the amount of smoke;
  • Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the meat: so that the fat doesn't drip onto the flames or charcoal, avoiding smoke.

Also, it is important to avoid being too close to the grill while the meat is grilling and, whenever possible, to have a barbecue in an outdoor location with little wind, to reduce the risk of inhaling smoke. Another option is to place an exhaust fan near the grill to suck out the smoke before it is spread into the air.

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