Summer grilling may raise blood pressure risk

Research we're watching

Published: June, 2018

Image: © Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

Many people switch from stove to grill in the warmer months. But a new study links regular consumption of grilled meat to an elevated risk of high blood pressure. A study presented at the American Heart Association's 2018 Epidemiology and Prevention — Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions looked at more than 100,000 people in three different studies who ate at least two servings of beef, poultry, or fish each week.

They found that those who grilled their meat or broiled or roasted it at high temperatures more than 15 times each month had a 17% higher risk of high blood pressure than people who grilled, roasted, or broiled less than four times a month.

In addition, people who preferred their meat well done had a 15% greater risk of high blood pressure compared with those who preferred their meat cooked to lower internal temperatures.

The blood pressure differences, researchers speculated, may be caused by exposure to chemicals that form when meat protein is exposed to high temperatures. It's important to note that the findings don't prove that the meat preparation methods directly caused the blood pressure risk or that your cooking method will affect your blood pressure. Even so, a dose of caution may be worthwhile if you're going to be grilling regularly this summer.

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