Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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This is a buzzkill. We knew that eating processed meats wasn’t the healthiest thing for us. Did you know that they’re even worse when grilled? That includes hot dogs and brats. Not what we want to hear as we gear up for our 4th of July cookouts.

Dr. Frank Hu, a nutrition professor at Harvard, told The Grio that most health experts agree “processed meats are more harmful than non-processed meats.” Grilling processed meats adds to the health risks due to the high heat forming additional carcinogenic effects. Those health risks include colorectal cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

If you do a lot of summertime grilling like I do, you might want to switch up your menu. I may grill more salmon and vegetables after learning this information. Here are some of the processed meats that pose the highest health risks:

  • Bacon
  • Deli meats
  • Ham
  • Hot dogs
  • Jerky
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage

America's Favorite Foods On The Grill

  • Burgers (45%)

    burgers on grill

    (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

  • Chicken (43%)

    chicken on grill

    (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

  • Hot Dogs (43%)

    hot dogs

    (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • Steak (40%)

    steaks on grill

    (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

  • Ribs (32%)

    Guy Fieri grilling ribs

    (Photo by Dylan Rives/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

  • Fish (29%)

    fish on grill

    (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

  • Vegetables (28%)


    (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • Shellfish (24%)

    lobster on grill

    (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Fruit (24%)

    grilled pineapple

    (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi)

  • Meat substitutes (Plant-based burgers, tofu, etc.) (22%)

    veggie burger

    (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)