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Enjoying Grilled Fish Without Fear of Cancer Risk

Grilling is the healthiest way to process food. Grilling means cooking without oil which means without containing additional calories and fat. The Grilling process contains different risks if not done correctly. Grilling does make fish more delicious than fried or steamed. However, grilled fish that are not yet fully cooked can contain bacteria, such as E.coli and salmonella which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

When fish are Grilled at high temperatures, muscle proteins that react to heat form heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which can cause DNA mutations that ultimately actually trigger cancer. The fat that falls into the charcoal and burns will cause smoke. The smoke from this combustion itself contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which, if later steaming up and stored in fish and grilled meat, can also increase the risk of cancer.

Enjoying Grilled Fish Without Fear of Cancer Risk

Healthy Tips to Process Grilled Fish

Although there is actually no population study that has found a clear causal relationship between HCA and PAH exposure in grilled meat or fish to the appearance of cancer cells in humans, it never hurts to take anticipatory steps. The following stages are expected to be a guide for processing grilled fish to be healthier.

Things that need to be prepared before grilling fish, include:

  • If you do it in the kitchen, make sure it is cleaned first to avoid getting food ingredients exposed to germs.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, especially before and after processing raw fish.
  • Separate fish from other foods that might be grilled like fruits and vegetables. Store fish in the refrigerator to maintain its durability.
  • Season the fish before baking. The study found that fish seasoned first, for example with vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, onion, garlic, or olive oil and herbs can reduce the content of HCA up to 99 percent.
  • Processing fish in the microwave beforehand for at least two minutes can also reduce the HCA content.
  • It is better to use a gas-fired grill that is cleaner than charcoal or conventional briquettes.
  • Prepare the fish in smaller pieces so that it doesn't take long to burn.

The combustion process also needs to be considered, namely:

  • Preheat the grill for at least 15 minutes or a maximum of 25 minutes to get the right temperature.
  • Brush the grill with oil so that the grilled material does not stick.
  • Grilled fish may look crispy on the outside, but the inside is still raw. The most appropriate method of measurement can use a food thermometer that is inserted into the thickest side of the meat. Fish can generally be called mature if the inside reaches at least a temperature of 62 degrees C
  • Reduce embers so that the fish can burn longer with a smaller temperature.
  • Carefully reverse fish positions more often to prevent the formation of HCAs.
  • Use different equipment to handle raw fish with vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.

Try performing these steps after you have finished grilling the fish.

  • Rest cooked grilled fish on an open plate for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  • While waiting to be eaten at the table, cover the grilled fish with a food hood to avoid being contaminated by bacteria carrying flies.
  • Be sure to wash thoroughly all baking equipment with washing soap and warm water before reusing to avoid contamination of other foods.
  • Store fish that haven't yet been grilled in the refrigerator, especially if it hasn't been reprocessed in the next 1-2 days.

When eating grilled fish, discard the burnt parts. Also add vegetables to the menu, because the grilled vegetables do not form HCA. By processing grilled fish more precisely, it is expected that the nutrient content in fish is maintained and can avoid the risk of bad combustion.

One important tip for those of you who want to cook or roast poultry, no need to wash meat with water. Washing raw poultry with water will only cause the meat to be contaminated with germs which can cause food poisoning.
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