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If you’re a meat lover, nothing’s better than digging into a juicy, barbecued steak. Or fall-off-the-bone ribs with a beautiful barbecue sauce. Or tender pieces of chicken, charred to perfection on the grill.

Sadly, it also seems that those who enjoy such fare are at a higher risk for cancer. Kidney cancer, to be exact.

Let’s back up a second. Remember when scientists told us just how bad processed meats like bacon are for us? Well those same people are here to ruin our taste buds even more with a new study, which suggests that eating any kind of grilled meat is actually bad for us.

Researchers at the University of Texas compared 659 patients who were recently diagnosed with kidney cancer to 699 people who live similar lives, but have been declared cancer-free. What they found is there is a definite link between those who ate grilled, charred meat and those who abstained.

The bad news is that it’s not just red meat that was linked to the cancer either; chicken, pork, turkey and more were just as bad. The working theory is that that’s because when meat is charred, it alters the composition of the product and genes in our bodies don’t react well to them.

So what’s a meat lover to do? You could always avoid meat all together. But unless you’re already a vegetarian, we’re betting that isn’t exactly an option. A better option would be to avoid grilling your meat altogether. But if you can’t resist going ahead with those grill marks, be sure to watch the meat carefully to ensure that the outside doesn’t crisp up too much. After all, your health could be at risk.

 
WATCH: And in other cancer-causing news…