Grilled meat and blood pressure.
Q I've seen news reports that eating meat or fish that has been grilled to "well done" raises blood pressure. Is this true?
A Recent research does suggest that a higher frequency of open-flame and/or high-temperature cooking (such as roasting) is associated with a greater risk for high blood pressure, particularly if these foods are cooked to well-done. In study participants who ate two or more servings of red meat, chicken, or fish a week, the risk of developing high blood pressure was 17 percent higher in those who grilled, broiled, or roasted the meat or fish to well done more than 15 times per month, compared with fewer than four times per month. The study doesn't prove cause-and-effect, but other research suggests that the chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures may contribute to inflammation, which is associated with high blood pressure, as well as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and memory impairment, among others. If you enjoy grilled meat and fish, I recommend that you try to avoid cooking it to well done, and that you trim off any charred areas. Also be sure to balance it by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
Fran Grossman, RD, MS, CDE, CDN