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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can burnt toast and barbecued foods cause cancer?

    Is burnt food a carcinogen? My family eats barbecued meats several times a week…
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  • 5


    Special interest include; Wellnes,nutrition, physical exercise, headaches and sports injuries. My aim is to improve the wellness and health of all my clients. View Profile

    The burnt or blacks areas of food are areas of carbon deposits. As far as im aware of (someone correct me if im wrong) their has been some links to increase in cancer rates . Are the BBQ food over coal or on the hot plate? Best way to minmise impact is to not overcook, this is with all types of foods, meats and vegetables, as the heating denatures proteins, enzynmes and nutrients found in them. To minimize your rsik of cancer i would be more focused on lifestyle. Eating a well rounded diet low in dairy and grains (paleo diet is in my opinion one of the most wholesome diet to follow) drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of exercises.

  • 2


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Dr Nicholas, you're definately right about blackened meat leading to cancer. If you eat alot of BBQ meat that has been overcooked it may lead to cancer. The best way to cook meat is to not overcook it and use a marninade to add flavour instead of burning it.

    In regards to your suggestion on the “paleo” diet. A well balanced diet should include foods from all of the 5 food groups; wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy and meat. In fact if you cut out food groups such as wholegrains, you may run the risk of developing bowel cancer due to a lack of dietary fibre in your diet. You will also miss out on important vitamins such as B-vitamins and folate. The “paleo” diet has some good points in that it encourages the consumption of fruits and vegetables however, it does limit dairy and wholegrain products therefore it is not nutritonally adequate and can lead to nutrient deficiencies such as calcium, folate and B-vitamins as well as fibre.

    When it comes to nutritional advice it is best to seek the expert advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). To find one near you go to,

  • 1


    Lisa Renn


    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Hi all,
    there is some new evidence to suggest that high heat, rapid cooking methods can increase free radical type agents in the body which leads to gradual deterioration, much like that which takes place as we age.
    The preferred cooking methods are those that are slower and have more liquid associated with them as Chris has suggested above.
    So the news is good for winter as the slow cooked casseroles and soups are healthy and keep us warm!
    It's not to say we can't enjoy a steak on the BBQ but these slower cooking methods are proving to be healthier options.

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