The Dangers of Overcooked and Undercooked Meat

The most dangerous type of meat is meat from factory farms. This type of meat is often described as coming from confined animal feeding operations (CAFO). Animals in factory farms have high levels of pesticides, hormones, arsenic, and antibiotics (1).

If you do get meat, a major issue comes from cooking meat. Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, or broiling, dangerous chemicals are created (2, 3, 4), for example:

  • heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are linked to cancer, and
  • advanced glycation end products (AGEs) cause oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
That being said, undercooking meat is also dangerous because cooking destroys bad bacteria (such as E. coli) and worms (such as Trichinellosis) (5, 6).
The bottom line is if you’re going to buy meat, it’s best to get organic grass-fed meat to avoid antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. You also need to cook the meat at just the right temperature, not too much that it produces HCAs, PBHs, and AGEs that cause cancer, inflammation, and heart disease, but not too little that bad bacteria and worms may still be present in the meat.

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