Grilling food can increase your blood pressure risk by up to 17% according to a new Harvard study. The warning comes that all foods are as bad as each other – even when grilled. Highest risk was seen in people eating grilled or roasted meat at least 15 times a month.

While many people know that red meat isn’t great for your blood pressure, many consider fish or chicken as a ‘leaner’ option when at a barbecue.

The new research released just months before cook-out season found grilling meat can trigger the release of dangerous chemicals. These can inflame the arteries and cause an increase hypertension risk by up to 17 per cent.

The study didn’t prove any direct cause-and-effect, yet the link has also been proven to be strong enough with warning people to think twice about getting their meat well done and grilled. Instead, health experts recommend eating rare, raw or boiled dishes.

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health assessed data on tens of thousands of medics, from nationally representative surveys. At first they analysed 32,925 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, followed by 53, 832 women in the follow-up study. Finally they assessed 17,104 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Each study recorded everything from diet, sleep, mood to daily habits. Researchers looked at the clear link between higher hypertension risk and the cooking method, rather than just the foods alone.

Most people involved in the survey reported eating at least 2 surveys of red meat, chicken or fish per week. The risk of each dish varying on how they were cooked.

The risk was 17% higher for those eating grilled or roasted beef, chicken or fish more than 15 times per month. While those eating well-done meats had a 15% higher risk of hypertension compared with those going for rarer plates. This is the case regardless of how much meat people eat, or what the dish is.

Cooking meats at high temperatures induces oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance in animal studies. These pathways can also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure, according to researchers.

When oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance affect the inner linings of blood vessels it can lead to atherosclerosis. This paves the way to heart disease and narrowed arteries.

Research findings suggest that it may be helpful to avoid eating well cooked foods to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It’s wise to avoid the use of high-temperature cooking methods for best results.

A Healthier Alternative To Chargrilling

Instead of choosing chargrilled foods, consider lightly cooking your food in spices or marinade to achieve the flavour you’re seeking.

Use a wide range of flavours from herbs, spices and even citrus fruits to get the taste and style of cuisine you are wanting to obtain.

Some good flavours to choose for Mediterranean foods include basil, garlic, olive oil, oregano, lemon and mint. While Mexican dishes may benefit from chilli powder, coriander, cumin seeds, oregano and paprika. Get creative with healthy oils and spices and you open up a world of new cuisine opportunities!


Recommended Examples For Reducing High Blood Pressure

HealthyFlow™ – Contains L-Arginine, a protein acid that’s present in all life forms. Also contains AstraGin™ which can improve nutrient absorption and provide good circulation support. Available from Good Health Naturally.
Cisca Easy Salt PipeA dry salt inhaler containing Halite salt crystals formed around 20 million years ago. The detoxifying effects of the natural Halite salt crystals may help with the absorption of oxygen, providing blood pressure relief. Available from Good Health Naturally.