Grilling meat may increase risk of high blood pressure, says new study

Faith Castro
March 25, 2018

Lead author of the study, Gang Liu, who is a postdoctoral research student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston said, "The chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance in animal studies, and these pathways may also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure".

Liu said,"Our findings suggest that it may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure if you don't eat these foods cooked well done and avoid the use of open-flame and/or high-temperature cooking methods, including grilling/barbequing and broiling".

However, the study only identifies a trend and can not prove that eating grilled meat actually triggers high blood pressure. However as seen from earlier studies, cooking meat on open flames and at higher temperatures can produce chemicals to form.

Cooking steak on the grill may have an unwanted side effect: It puts you at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are exclusively those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.

His most recent study incorporated subjects from three different populations: 32,925 women from the Nurses Health Study from 1996 to 2012; 53,852 women from the Nurses Health Study II from 2001 to 2013; and 7,104 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1996 to 2012. The American Heart Association news release explained that these issues affect blood vessels' inner linings, and are connected to atherosclerosis, a process that narrows the arteries and is mentioned as an underlying cause of heart disease.

AHA notes the findings are limited because data did not include meats such as lamb or pork or other cooking methods including stir-frying and stewing.

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Previous studies have documented the many potential harms of consuming meats cooked at high temperatures.

All of the study participants were healthy when they joined in, but during a follow up 12-16 years later, 37,123 of them developed high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death in the world. With the charred exterior comes chemicals that may cause cancer and may now cause high blood pressure, and that trade-off might not be worth it for a delicious plate of barbecue.

"The people who had the highest risk were grilling 15 times a month - that's every other day", Dr. Haitham Ahmed, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, said.

Meanwhile, a study from 2017 shows that meat cooked at high temperatures can also increase the chances of developing cancer.

Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

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