Canadian Cancer Society logo
You are here: 
A-|A|A+

Food prep and storage

Research shows that cooking meat, poultry and fish at high temperatures (by frying, broiling or barbecuing) may increase your risk of cancer.

Tips to reduce your exposure to cancer-causing substances that form at high heat
  • Cook these foods at lower temperatures by braising, stewing, steaming or roasting more often. Use high-temperature cooking methods such as barbecuing, broiling or pan-frying less often. If you’re concerned about cooking with Teflon and other non-stick cookware, do not use this type of cookware on high heat.
  • Marinate meat, poultry and fish before cooking. Studies have shown that marinating these foods can prevent the formation of cancer-causing chemicals. Use an oil-free marinade that contains a strong acid like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
  • When barbecuing, choose lean cuts of meat, poultry and seafood over higher-fat meats. Trim off visible fat. This will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that develop from the smoke created by burning fat.
  • Barbecue slowly and keep the food away from the hot coals so that flames are less likely to engulf the food to prevent charring.
  • Try grilling vegetables, veggie burgers and fruit slices. Most experts agree that plant-based foods do not form the cancer-causing substances when cooked at high heat.
A-|A|A+

Stories

Ray Ellis in fireman gear Because of smoke inhalation and exposure to toxic chemicals, I live with the fear of cancer virtually every day.

Read Ray's story

A home away from home

Illustration of house

For cancer patients who must travel a great distance to get to treatment, Canadian Cancer Society lodges offer a welcoming place to stay.

Learn more