Posted by: Clive | 2009-10-01

Braai meat and more nonsense

A cancer-free braai in (HealthDayNews, updated September 2009)

* One or two days before your braai, eat cruciferous vegetables such
as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts. These
vegetables contain compounds that activate enzymes in the body that
detoxify HCAs.

What about this in wiki:

Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone.[2][3] Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland.[4]

Cruciferous vegetables have recently been implicated in some pharmacological drug interactions.

Could you please refer me to the research that has weighed up the risks and benefits in consuming these vegetables resulting in your confident dietary advice?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Clive
I am pleased to inform you that I did not write this article you are referring to! Cruciferous vegetables as listed are anticarcinogenic and recommended as part of a preventative diet. Certain supplements also contain extracts of cruciferous vegetables and are sold as products to protect against cancer. Like the meat which when lean and not charred which does not pose a potential threat, cruciferous vegetables can be both good and bad - anticarcinogenic on the one hand and goitrogenic on the other hand. Most people do cook their Brussels sprouts, etc, before eating them. Many foods like grapefruit interact with drugs which is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to read the package inserts of medications to check if one needs to make dietary changes when taking such drugs.
Once again you can check each statement which one of the other contributors to this site made in connection with the braai story on PubMed, which is a more scientific site than dear old Wiki.
Always keep in mind that nutrition and human physiology is not like physics or pure chemistry, but a mixture of positive and negative reactions that need to be weighed up against each other to obtain the best result. Dietitians believe that "All foods fit", which means there are no "good" or "bad" foods and that the safest option is to "Eat a variety of foods" (the first and most important Food-Based Dietary Guideline). Therefore, what you lose on the swings, is made up on the roundabouts.
Best regards

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