Roasted vs fried meat

Monday August 03 2020

Is roasted meat healthier than fried meat? –Kwezi
Dear Kwezi

It is important to note that the body does not require a lot of animal foods. We should restrict animal foods ideally to only twice a week.

When we do eat meat, the way we prepare it matters. It is generally better to roast or barbecue meat than to fry it because heating oil at high temperatures leads to the production of chemical compounds called acrylamides that have been linked to cancer.

These are produced when any food is deep-fried but more so, meat. It is also essential to keep in mind that exposure of meat to very high temperatures whether through deep frying or roasting can still lead to the formation of other chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)that cause cancer.

The PAHs seem to come from the smoke that is produced and are significantly more in roasted meat that has developed charring (the black burnt material on the surface of meat). And considering that PAHs are cancer-causing, we must avoid any roasted meat or any charred food. So, although roasting is better than deep-frying, both can have negative effects.