A new study published this week in the journal Cancer links increased meat consumption to a higher risk for kidney cancer, also suggesting that cooking process may be a factor. Time reports that researchers looked at the diets and genetic information of 659 University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center patients who were recently diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of kidney cancer. They then compared these people to 699 healthy men and women.

The researchers estimated the men and women’s meat consumption and their exposure to mutagens (compounds that can cause a genetic mutations) in meat that are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures over an open flame, like grilled or pan fried. Cooking meat in this way can create carcinogens.

The researchers found that the patients with kidney cancer ate more meat—both red and white—compared to the people in the study without cancer.

“Meat-cooking mutagens, including heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are formed as a result of meat cooking, preparation, and level of doneness and may increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC),” the study states.

Sources: Time, The Journal of Cancer Research