With the holidays coming up along with the beautiful weather, outdoor grilling can be an easy way to get out of the hot kitchen and stay warm while enjoying good food with family and friends. Grilling can also be a healthful way of cooking. According to Diabetes Self-Management, here are 7 tips to make grilling healthy:
1. Clean your grill safely. Avoid using a wire bristle brush. The bristles can easily break off while cleaning which can end up in your food and into your body. Instead, try and choose a coil brush, a wooden scraper or some crumpled up aluminum.
2. Marinate. Not only do marinades add flavor to your meats, but it is a good way to lessen or prevents the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs are potentially cancer-causing substances and have been linked to a higher risk of different cancers such as breast, prostate, stomach, and others. By adding a marinade, you can reduce the formation by more than 90%.
3. Watch the fat. When choosing meats, try and go easy on the fat by picking a leaner meat, or trim off the excess fats. The fats from the meats can drip onto the charcoal during cooking which can form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
You can also place a sheet of aluminum foil between the meat and the charcoal to catch the drips.
4. Resist the rare. Eating rare meat can higher your chances of food poisoning. Do not go by the color of the meat but rather buy a meat thermometer. Burgers and hot dogs should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Steak, pork and fish should be cooked to 145 degrees and poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.
5. Add veggies! Grilling your vegetables brings out more of their flavor, and adds a lower-carb and lower-calorie addition to your meal. The heat from the coals can enhance the flavor of vegetables but also boosts healthful antioxidants and phytochemicals.
6. Enjoy some dessert. You may not be able to grill ice cream, but you are able to grill some of your favorite fruits! The heat from the grill will enhance the flavor of the fruits. Try adding some cinnamon or sweetener on top before grilling for an extra boost of sweet!
7. Cut the carbs. Carbohydrates aren’t bad in moderation, so instead of normal bread, try using lower-carb whole-grain bread substitute, or even a tortilla.