Healthy Action Step of the Day: Grill Carefully for Health

Grill carefully for health. Grilling is a natural part of summer, but there are some health impacts that you need to keep in mind. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, (AICR) “grilling meat, red or white, at high temperatures forms potent cancer-causing substances.” That’s because charring and cooking meat, poultry and fish under high heat causes compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. These substances have shown the ability to damage our DNA in ways that make cancer more likely.But there are some steps the AICR recommends that you can take to make grilling healthier.

  • Marinate your meat. Research has shown that marinating meat for at least 30 minutes can reduce the formation of HCAs.
  • Partially pre-cook your meat. PAHs are deposited onto the meat by smoke. By reducing the amount of time meat spends exposed to flame by first partially cooking it in a microwave, oven or stove, you can reduce the amount of PAHs you generate and ingest.
  • Cook meat over a low flame. Doing this can reduce the formation of both HCAs and PAHs, and help keep burning and charring to a minimum.
  • ** My recommendation: Use a gas grill instead of charcoal. Charcoal-grilled meats contain more PAHs than meat heated with propane.

Bottom line: Enjoy an occasional chargrilled burger this summer, but don’t make it a habit, and follow these tips to keep all of your grilling as healthy as possible.

Pelvic Floor Disorders: What Every Woman Needs to Know

What They Are and How You Can Prevent Them

Pelvic floor disorders can manifest in many ways, but once you’ve experienced one, you’ll never forget it. Trust me, I speak from experience on this one. The pain I felt in my lower right abdomen was excruciating. If I hadn’t already had my appendix out, that would have been the first thing I thought of. That’s how bad the pain was. When I finally saw my GYN, and after an ultrasound was done to rule out cysts, she told me she thought I was having pelvic muscle spasms and that there were some yoga-type stretching exercises that I should do. I looked at her as if she was crazy. I, in no way, could see how exercises were going to fix this. I could barely function! But I did follow the exercises exactly, and sure enough, within a week, the pain wasn’t nearly as bad and within a couple of weeks, it was gone entirely.

Unfortunately, these disorders can show up in a variety of ways and each one can feel completely different. That’s why they can be so hard to diagnose. And why, the last thing you might think of as the culprit is your pelvic floor. While pelvic floor disorders aren’t necessarily the most fun topic to talk about, it’s important that you know what they are and how you can prevent them.

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Eating for Exercise

What to Eat Before and After Working Out

Since I have a weightlifting son who puts a lot of effort into timing his eating around his workouts, I started wondering whether I should be paying more attention to what I eat and when I eat it in conjunction with my workouts. Afterall, I, like most people, want to make sure that if I’m putting in that much effort, I’m getting the most out of it. To get the answers I was looking for, I turned to Dani Singer, CEO and Director of Fit2Go Personal Training in Baltimore, Maryland. In this Q&A, Dani fills us in on all of the do’s and some of the don’ts of eating for exercise and what we should be eating before and after working out.

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