You won't find a bigger booster of meat than me -- but there's one type even I won't touch, and that's the overcooked hunks of charcoal that pass for “well done.”
Charred meats will boost your levels of homocysteine, the inflammation marker linked to heart disease and other problems -- and the risks don't end there: Burnt dinner offerings can almost double your risk of pancreatic cancer.
Each time you bring your steak to the brink of cremation, you create something worse than a dense hockey puck devoid of all flavor and texture. You create a series of dangerous mutagens such as heterocyclic amines and bezo(a)pyrene.
We already know these mutagens can lead to any number of cancers -- but a new 10-year study finds that high levels of them will boost your odds of pancreatic cancer by 86 percent.
And when you consider that the five-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer is just 5 percent, that's a risk you don't want to take.
But let's not throw all the heat on meat here -- because even charred beyond all recognition, it's not the worst thing on the menu.
Starchy foods are far more common than well-done meats -- most people eat starch with every single meal -- and research going back years confirms that these empty carbohydrates can also boost your pancreatic cancer risk.
You can always cook your meat a little less... but there's absolutely nothing you can do to foods like taters, bread and rice that'll make them any better for you. So keep the steak on the menu -- just be sure to eat it rare.