When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

40 Years of Progress: Transforming Cancer. Saving Lives.

The AICR Lifestyle & Cancer Symposium addresses the most current and consequential issues regarding diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

The Annual AICR Research Conference is the most authoritative source for information on diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

Cancer Update Program – unifying research on nutrition, physical activity and cancer.

ResourcesNav New164

Whether you are a healthcare provider, a researcher, or just someone who wants to learn more about cancer prevention, we’re here to help.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

Are you ready to make a difference? Join our team and help us advance research, improve cancer education and provide lifesaving resources.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

June 6, 2019 | 3 minute read

How Can You Make Grilling Safe?

It is grilling season once again in the United States and many Americans have plans for backyard summer events. Read what AICR knows when it comes to grilling and cancer risk.

“Research shows that diets high in red and processed meat increase risk for colon cancer,” said AICR’s Senior Director of Nutrition Programs, Alice Bender. “And grilling meat, red or white, at high temperatures forms potent cancer-causing substances. But by keeping five simple steps in mind, it is possible to make this summer’s backyard grilling both healthier and more flavorful.”


The first step you can take is to skip the red and processed meat and go for a choice of poultry or fish. Try mixing up your choice of meat for a more creative array of meals. Diets high in red meat (beef, pork and lamb) or processed meats (hot dogs, sausages) can increase the risk of colon cancer regardless of how the meat is cooked.

The second step is to marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes. Charring and cooking meat, poultry and fish can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Marinating the meat for 30 minutes or more in a mixture that includes mild vinegar or lemon juice along with oil, herbs or spices can reduce the formation of HCAs.


Pre-cooking is the third step to reduce the risk of cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another compound that can form in grilling. PAHs typically get into the meat through smoke. By pre-cooking your meat, you reduce the amount of time your meat is exposed to smoke, thus limiting the amount of PAHs on your burger or steak.

A fourth step is to use a low flame and keep your meat in the center of the grill while flipping the meat frequently, which can also reduce the risk of HCA formation. This will also keep the charring and burning to a minimum. When it comes time to serve, cut off any charred areas to further reduce your ingestion of potentially harmful compounds.

YouTube video

Lastly, as our Nutrition Advisor Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN, FAND states in the video, “adding fruits and vegetables to the grill adds delicious flavor.” Mix your dishes up and include colorful vegetables and whole grains for a variety of healthy spreads. Grilled vegetables and fruits can be a flavorful addition to your meal and HCAs don’t form when plant foods are grilled. So shifting the proportions in your meal to include more of these foods, you have a chance to make grilling delicious and healthy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From the Blog