A funny thing about grilled meat…
As a proponent of Ancestral diets, the most common myth-busting I do has to do with using grills and BBQs.
In the Paleo community, there is a belief that hunter-gatherers cooked their meat over a fire on a stick. All of the time. That turns out to be untrue and, more importantly, potentially life-threatening.
Historically, indigenous people almost always cook meat in a way that conserves every drop of fat, like pit baking, stewing in rawhide tubs with hot rocks, cooking a carcass in its skin, or stewed in clay pots. Drying meat for travel was always done in a way that conserved the fat to make pemmican. most of the time. You would’ve to be a very ‘rich’ Hunter-Gatherer to roast an animal over a fire. Yummy, but expensive and hard on the old people.
The Ancestral Autoimmune Protocol diet has nothing against having a good steak, once in a while – later. In fact, in the Second Phase of the Ancestral AIP, you will learn the best ways to cook meat, including a few ways to make a mouth-watering steak dinner.
If you want to reduce inflammation and give your liver, kidneys, and brain a little boost – stop grilling meat.
Four harmful things are produced when you cook animal flesh on hot metal. They are all chemical byproducts that have known harmful metabolic effects.
- Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE’s)
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
- Heterocyclic Amines
- Protein starvation
Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) are made when proteins or fats are over-heated with glucose. Animal flesh has some latent blood glucose in it, and during the cooking process the proteins, fats, and sugars bind together and become glycated, and create some very inflammatory and destructive chemicals. These AGE molecules literally age your body by oxidizing or ‘rusting’ your body’s tissues in a chronic war of inflammation. Excessive and chronic AGE’s are known to damage your gut, your entire vascular system, your nervous system, and your brain.
Basically, the more you cook with a BBQ, or grill a steak, and the more BBQ sauce you cook with (sugar), the more your immune system will move towards the acceleration of many Degenerative Diseases like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis, Chronic Kidney Disease, most Autoimmune Diseases, and especially Alzheimer’s Disease.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s) are created when fat is burned, especially with direct flames or very high heat. PAH’s are carcinogenic and mutagenic and are known to aggravate many cancers in humans. The major dietary sources of PAHs are actually in baked or industrially processed cereals. The second major source is grilled, fried, broiled or BBQ meat.
That sizzle and smoke of melting and burning fat damages your food and drives your immune system and most of your cells into an aggressive state. PAH’s are a measurable influence in the immediate acceleration of Autoimmunity.
Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s) are another kind of inflammatory carcinogen that forms when meats are grilled at high temperatures. Studies on rats given high amounts of HCAs in their diet developed cancers in their colon, breast and prostate tissues.