Bar-B-Q and you

| June 22, 2016
gerald deas

Dr. Gerald Deas

By Gerald W. Deas, M.D.MPH

Well, here it is another day of celebration and a day of seeing how much one can eat and drink. Well, I can assure you that when the good times and exotic tasties are over, your stomach will be singing the bar-b-q blues.


The Story of Bar-B-Q Blues

Oh, my dear stomach

Why have I treated you this way?

When you have been so good to me,

Day after day

Now your making me sing

Those GI (gastrointestinal) blues

Because of the fatty foods that I choose


First of all, a little anatomy lesson: That belly sagging over your waist is not your stomach. It is a space that holds the small and large gut. The stomach is placed higher up near the chest and separates the gut from the heart and lungs by a muscular apron known as the diaphragm.

The stomach is a muscular organ that receives the undigested food and mixes it up with digestive juices preparing it for its trip thru the small and large intestines.

The lining of the stomach is made up of a layer of cells that have many functions that helps to digest foods. If something you have eaten disturbs the function of the stomach, you can bet it will react by cramping and bloating causing you to run to take medicines to relieve the gas.

The stomach often reacts to a group pf chemicals known as Poly-Cyclic, Aromatic Hydro-Carbons (PAH), which are toxins produced by incomplete burning of fat which is found in pork, poultry, beef and fish. As these morsels of excessive fats in your foods react with burning coals, PHA is produced which can cause stomach distress.

To prevent the formation of toxic material when bar-b-q-ing, I would suggest the following:

  • Before cooking meat and fish, trim off the fat.
  • Avoid overcooking meats but long enough to kill the bacteria and paracits that might be in the meats.
  • Keep meats at least six inches from the heat source.
  • Flip burgers, franks and other meats such as sausage, chicken, once per minute.
  • Keep a small bottle filled with water to prevent flare-ups of the fire.

I hope that the above instructions will help you to enjoy your bar-b-q meal without causing digestive problems.

Finally, since I am a veteran and served during the Korean War, I can only reflect on all of the soldiers that did not return to our motherland. I was a member of a team that identified our brothers and sisters that died. Please take a moment from your bar-b-q and ask the question, if we need another war? For peace-sake, no!

War, war, what is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!

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Category: Health

About the Author ()

Gerald W. Deas, MD, MPH, MA is a physician, poet, patient advocate, playwright, media personality, political activist and public health crusader. Read his full bio at

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