Is Smoking Food bad for you & healthiest way to smoke your meat

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  March 17, 2020

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Why smoking food can be unhealthy sometimes.

Smoking food or grilling food or barbecuing food is actually one of the various processes of curing food (preserving food for food security) and almost no one can complain how the smoker grill would imbue all sorts of food with that crisp, juicy and unbelievable taste that you can’t get anywhere else.

However, while we here at Lakeside Smokers are grilling enthusiasts and would almost always recommend to you, our readers, any crazy recipe to smoke or grill, we do advice to consume your food sparingly and not get carried away.

Anything in excess is never good for your body, so cook your delicacies, savor their taste and eat moderately. In this article, I’ll talk about what to look out for.

smoking food

Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) on Grilled and Smoked Foods

Whether grilled or smoked foods heterocyclic amines or HCA always becomes the byproduct and HCAs are one of the leading causes of cancer. Grilled foods produce more levels of HCA as grilling exposes the meat or other types of food to direct heat and they leave some amount of carcinogenic matter that you consume. But not to worry though, because if you have no history of cancer in your family, then the chances of you developing a cancer is 1 in a billion. This means that you’d have to eat at least half a pound of grilled foods 5 times a week for 20 years and there’s only 10% chance that you’ll get cancer. For smoked foods it would be 40 years and you’d only get 3% chance.

smoking food

You may also want to read Beef and Pork Chili in the Natural Gas BBQ Smoker

But if you have a history of cancer in your family, then you may want to cut it back to a quarter of a pound a day for only 2-3 times a week or maybe even less than that, and you only eat smoked foods over grilled ones. Still, moderation is the key to a successful healthy living!

How to Avoid Getting Cancer from Grilling or Smoking Foods

How to buy a bbq smoker video x
How to buy a bbq smoker video

Like I mentioned earlier, moderately smoking food or grilling them and limiting your smoked or grilled food intake is one way to avoid health risks. The fact is that it’s not just cancer that you need to worry about, because bad cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, chances of becoming overweight or obese and other unwanted health problems will come after munching chunks after chunks of meat and other grilled foods! The health risks are also not just limited to smoked or grilled foods. You could get health problems by consuming 15 bottles of Nutella in 5 days! Literally anything you take excessively will eventually be bad for you.

Read more: the best BBQ smokers for meat reviewed

Here are some helpful tips in smoking foods and remaining healthy:

smoking food
smoking food

What to Take Away from All of This?

I think what we should all focus on is staying healthy while enjoying smoked foods and not focus on the negative things about the health impacts that grilled foods and HCAs causes, because at the end of the day if you’re doing things the right way, then there’s nothing to fear. We should, by no means, reject smoking food or grilling as it has been a great tradition not only for Americans, but for the rest of the world as well.

I mean, people still eat lasagna despite the half a pound of cheese that’s stuffed in it, like do they even know how much cholesterol there are in that thing? We get it! We recognize the health hazards, but we will do this safely rather than stop doing it and miss out a lot in our lives.

Now, if you’re really into getting and eating healthy, take a look at our vegetable recipes to get yourself some nutrition too instead of always a lot of smoked meats.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.