It’s summer and everyone is grilling right now. When I walk outside around dinner time and smell that grill smell, it makes me say, “Mmm, who’s grilling? Smells good!” It just makes me want to hunt down that house and steal their dinner!
So what’s the deal with grilling? Is it a healthy way to cook? Or is the smoke and char too bad for you?
Grilling has many health benefits. Here are a few:
1. It’s Low Fat. Fat from the meat will drip off while on the grill. This leads to less fat in the food compared to other methods such as pan frying.
2. The grill locks moisture into the meat so you will use fewer condiments because the food will be more filled with juicy flavor. Less condiments means the heathier the meat is to eat.
3. Contains more nutrients. Veggies retain more vitamins and minerals when grilled.
4. Easier to clean up. I’m not a fan of cleaning up after cooking. With grilling, it’s a quick clean.
5. Fresh Veggies. Tossing veggies on the grill means you are eating fresh veggies instead of the canned alternative.
6. It tastes better off the grill. The grill gives everything more flavor – meats, veggies, fish, etc…
THE BAD (and how to avoid it)
Yes there are lots of benefits to grilling, but be aware of some potential ways for your grilled meat to form carcinogens. So to help, here are a couple tips you can use to make sure that every grilling result is a healthy one.
1. Cook meat for a shorter amount of time. The longer you grill and expose the meat to high temperatures and smoke, the more likely carcinogens will form. So try cutting your meat into smaller or thinner pieces. Use skewers or pound out your meat.
2. Use marinades. Scientist have found that marinades create a barrier between your meat and carcinogens. The American Institute for Cancer Research says marinating meat for at least 30 minutes can reduce the formation of HCAs.
3. Clean your grill. Make sure while cleaning your grill to get rid of all the charred bits which may contain chemicals that can seep into the next food you grill.
4. Try using a gas grill instead of charcoal, which may contain chemicals that seep into your food.
If you use these tips and use your grill most of the year, you can enjoy the benefits of healthier eating more often!