How you cook your meat could raise risk of high blood pressure

Backyard barbecues come with a new caution: Grilled beef, chicken and fish may boost your risk for high blood pressure.

The same goes for roasting or broiling these foods, because high-temperature cooking is what’s key, according to a new study presented Wednesday at an American Heart Association meeting.

“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,” lead researcher Gang Liu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a release.

Her team’s conclusion is based on surveys of more than 100,000 U.S. adults in health fields revealed that the odds of hypertension are slightly higher for people who prefer meats cooked at high heat compared to ones partial to lower temperature cooking methods.

High-temperature cooking, including grilling, has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure.

High-temperature cooking, including grilling, has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure.


In addition, people who regularly ate meats cooked well-done, such as President Trump, were 15% more likely to develop high blood pressure over 12 to 16 years, the study also showed.

Findings don’t prove cause and effect, researchers noted. Results are limited because they don’t account for all types of meat and cooking methods, as well as the narrow study population.

But they do add to studies showing that compounds created when meat, poultry and seafood are charred are carcinogenic.

Not Released (NR)

While the study asked about chicken, beef and fish, it left out lamb and pork, so more research must be done to fully understand the connection between high heat and hypertension.

(mccun934/Getty Images)

“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,” said Liu.

Bottom line: As you try to limit the amount of meat in your diet, also pay attention to how — and how long — you cook it.

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