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Eating Well Done Meat May Increase Your Hypertension Risk

March 22, 2018, 6:29 PM UTC

Cooking steak on the grill may have an unwanted side effect: It puts you at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

Researchers have found that eating either white or red meat that’s been cooked over high heat like an open flame increases the chance of the developing high blood pressure by 17%. The findings build on previous research showing that cooking meat at high temperature is linked to the formation of potentially cancer-causing chemicals in the meat.

The results of the study were presented Wednesday at an American Heart Association meeting. The study followed 86,777 women and 17,104 men. While none of the participants had high blood pressure at the start of the study, 12-16 years later, 37,123 of the participants developed hypertension.

From those, researchers found that the risk of hypertension was 17% higher for those who ate two servings of grilled, broiled, or roasted meat each week. The risk of developing high blood pressure was also 15% higher in people who preferred their food well done.

Gang Liu, the study’s lead author and a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says that the research merely suggests that avoiding the use of open-flame or high-temperature cooking methods could reduce the risk of developing hypertension, reports the Today show.

Bottom line: grilling isn’t something you should avoid entirely, but like everything, should probably be done in moderation.