How Rosemary Can Help Meat Eaters Be Healthier

You can buy liquid rosemary extract to use for your own meat preparation at home, but you could get a similar effect by chopping up fresh rosemary and mixing it in with uncooked meat before cooking it. Not only could it reduce the levels of HCA’s, it would also add additional flavor.


Can You See HCA’s?


HCA’s are of concern for meat eaters since they form inside the meat during the cooking process – not just on the surface - where you could scrape it off. Some people think that when they scrape off the dark layer that forms on meat when it’s cooked or grilled, they’re removing HCA’s. What they’re actually removing are hydrocarbons – another group of chemicals suspected of causing cancer.


Microwaving to Reduce HCA’s


Another simple way to reduce HCA’s in foods if you’re a meat eater is to microwave meats for two minutes before cooking it in the normal manner. This reduces the amount of HCA’s by up to ninety percent.



Meat Eaters and HCA’s: The Bottom Line


If you’re a meat eater, you could be regularly exposing yourself to low levels of HCA’s which could add up over time to a cancer. Whether you reduce your exposure to HCA’s by limiting the amount of meat you eat, by adding rosemary, or by microwaving, take steps to reduce these harmful chemicals in your diet.


More and more people are reducing how much red meat they eat because of health concerns. Many people believe that it’s the saturated fat, antibiotics, and hormones in red meat that’s the biggest threat to health, but there’s another factor that fewer people consider – the risk of chemicals called heterocyclic amines.


What is HCA?


Heterocylic amines, or HCA’s as they’re called, are cancer causing chemicals that form when meats are heated to high temperatures. Fortunately, there may be a way to offset this health risk if you’re a meat eater. A new study shows that adding rosemary to meat may naturally reduce the amount of HCA’s formed during the cooking process. Home



Health Benefits of Rosemary: A Natural HCA Fighter?


According to a study published in Journal of Food Science adding rosemary extract to beef patties before cooking them reduced the amount of heterocyclic amines in the cooked beef by up to ninety-two percent. The researchers believe it’s the antioxidant health benefits of rosemary that are responsible for lowering the HCA’s in cooked beef. Rosemary is a source of two powerful antioxidants called rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid that may stop these cancer causing chemicals from forming when meat is heated. Good news if you’re a meat eater!


Health Benefits of Rosemary: Can You Use It Fresh?


Rosemary extract rather than fresh rosemary was used in this experiment because it doesn’t affect the flavor of the meat which is important for manufacturers – should they decide to include it in pre-packaged meats.