Grilling Out the Healthy Way

Anyone who is trying to lose weight tends to have a love affair with the grill during the summer months. They are able to cook their favorite meats without all of the added grease and fat that comes with many of the indoor cooking methods.

All of the fat from the meat just drips down onto the coals, eliminating those extra calories. Something that many people do not realize, however…are the hidden dangers in eating grilled meat, chicken and fish.

The American Institute of Cancer Research analyzed 7000 studies and found that grilled meat contains “potent carcinogens”. The high heat from grilling causes a chemical reaction that creates “heterocyclic amines”, which are linked to cancer. Another way that cancer causing agents are formed is when the meat drips onto the hot coals. They rise back up in the smoke, sticking to the meat, which people then consume.

The good news for people who are trying to lose weight is that you can still grill out in the summer in a healthy way if you follow a few tips:

Grill lots of vegetables. Grilling vegetables is safe and they are delicious on the grill. Not only are they are wonderful source of fiber and nutrition, they are low in calories.

Trim as much fat from your meat as possible before grilling meat on your smoker grill. This way there will not be as many drippings falling onto the coals.

Partially cook meat before placing on the grill. This is especially important if you have thicker cuts of meat, because it will lessen the amount of time that the meat is on the grill. You will still be able to enjoy the grilled flavor from the meat.

Forget the “blackened” hot dogs. I have to admit that I love a nice grilled hot dog, and I love it when they are slightly burned. Most of the people I know also love to eat their hot dogs this way. Just remember, the blacker they are, the more carcinogens they hold. The best way to cook them is until they are just hot throughout, and they will still have that nice grilled flavor.

Marinate your meat prior to grilling. The Natural Medicine Journal reports that studies have shown that the spices in marinades can reduce the cancer causing agent HCA by as much as 70%.

Shorter cooking times. Avoid cooking meat until it is well done if possible. The longer the cooking time, the more danger there is.

Grilling out can still be a safe and tasty way to eat healthy over the summer. Just be mindful of the way that you do it.

(Image source: Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash)

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