A new study suggests that people who eat their meat well-done instead of rare might face a slightly increased risk of high blood pressure.
The Harvard study found that grilling meat triggers the release of dangerous chemicals that inflame the arteries and increase hypertension risk by 17 percent.
According to Gang Liu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, laboratory studies suggest that the chemicals can trigger inflammation within the body, which could contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems.
High blood pressure may lead to stroke.
“This is the first time that we’re seeing it on a large scale basis, more than a 100 thousand patients, who are now getting high blood pressure 10, 15 years later,” said Haitham Ahmed of the Cleveland Clinic.
According to the researchers, the findings do not prove cause and effect but they do add to evidence suggesting people should not only limit the amount of meat in their diets but also pay attention to how they cook it.
“Our results imply that both reducing the amount of meat — especially red meat — and avoiding the use of open-flame or high-temperature cooking methods may potentially aid in [high blood pressure] prevention,” said Liu.