Grilling Wisely Healthy Eating

Grilling Wisely

Does the thought of grilled chicken, steak, and vegetables make your mouth water? Summer is the perfect time for grilling, and it’s great for dinner with the family or a friendly gathering. But just because you’re grilling as opposed to deep-frying your food, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating healthy. Here are the healthiest types of meats to grill and the best way to prepare them.

Unprocessed meats – According to Harvard researchers, the risks associated with eating meat come from processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and lunchmeats.  Eating unprocessed meats instead will not increase risks of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

What your meat is eating – Grass-fed beef is much healthier than grain-fed. Organic, grass-fed is ideal.

Organic meat – Although it’s a little more expensive, it’s probably worth it.  Organically fed animals don’t receive hormones or medications and feed for a third of the year on the pasture.  There generally are no additives.

Get down to cooking – Marinating enhances the flavor of meat and can also reduce chemicals within.  If meat it cooked longer, there is an increase in heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are a cancer risk, so avoid eating any blackened meat. Adding vegetables to your grilling can complete your plate and benefit your health.

The cooking – Some carcinogens linked to breast cancer, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can come from grilling foods. PAHs become present when the flames from the grill hit the meat.

What’s the best way to grill?

  • Buy lean cut meats, and avoid the fats that create PAHs.
  • Grill at lower temperatures.
  • Get rid of any charred or blackened parts.
  • Don’t over- or undercook.
  • Veggies are great grilled, but don’t char them.

Enjoy those juicy foods all summer (or year) long!

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