People might want to reconsider getting their steaks well-done. A new study suggests that those who eat their meat cooked thoroughly have a slightly higher chance of high blood pressure, compare to those who get their food rare.
Researchers studied over 100,000 adults in the United States, and found that the odds of high blood pressure were a bit higher among people who like their meat broiled, grilled or roasted, compared to those who cooked with more temperate methods, UPI reports.
This was also true of people who preferred well-done steaked. Compared to those who chose rare or medium-rare meat, well-done meat enthusiasts were 15% more likely to develop high blood pressure over 12 to 16 years.
While these results don’t prove cause and effect, they do add to evidence that suggest people should not only be careful of their meat intake, but also pay attention to how the meat is cooked. Gang Liu, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, lead researcher on the study, said,
Our results imply that both reducing the amount of meat — especially red meat — and avoiding the use of open-flame or high-temperature cooking methods may potentially aid in [high blood pressure] prevention.
According to research, cooking to the point of charring is the main issue with grilling. Linda Van Horn, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, explained that grilling produces chemicals that are not normally found in the body. These include heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Liu said that lab studies suggest these chemicals can activate inflammation inside the body, which can then contribute to high blood pressure, and other health problems.
Other studies have found that people who regularly eat well-done meat have more chances of developing certain cancers, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Pan-frying and boiling, at “moderate temperatures and duration,” seem to be the healthier choices, Liu added.