Healthy Dining Finder - Blogs, Recipes & More
 
Healthy Weight Loss
Get to Know Your Favorite Foods on a Personal Level

Fire Up Your Grill for Easy Summer Eats


Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill for friends, family, and delicious barbeque. Grilling keeps the house cool, minimizes clean up, and gets the family outdoors during the warmer, sunny months of the year.  It can be a very healthy (and weight loss-friendly) way to prepare your favorite foods. Knowing which foods to cook on the barbie will optimize your grilling experience and help you stay on track with weight loss goals. 
Healthy Food

Join the Healthy Dining Club!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers
By Rebecca Brundidge

Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill for friends, family, and delicious barbeque. Grilling keeps the house cool, minimizes clean up, and gets the family outdoors during the warmer, sunny months of the year.  It can be a very healthy (and weight loss-friendly) way to prepare your favorite foods. Knowing which foods to cook on the barbie will optimize your grilling experience and help you stay on track with weight loss goals.

The key to healthy grilling starts with the right choice of meat; purchase lean cuts of meat and avoid those high in saturated fats—like most sausages and fatty beef. Chicken, lean beef, fish, and shrimp are all great options. Protein has also been shown to help maintain a healthy weight. Cooking meats on the grill versus in a pan or oven allows the fat to drip away from the food. Essentially, grilling offers a healthier alternative to pan cooking or baking because the meat is not cooking in its own fat.

Many people are probably aware of the grilled meat and carcinogen association; grilling fatty meats at high temperatures causes recognized cancer-causing compounds to form on the food. It turns out that lowering the fat content does more than just decrease calories. Choosing lean meats decreases the amount of harmful toxicant formation when high temperatures meet animal fats[1]. Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are recognized carcinogens that form during the grilling process. HCAs form when meat comes into contact with high grilling temperatures, and PAHs form when fat drips onto charcoal or the grilling element[2].  Avoid these cancer-causing compounds by trimming visible fat, taking the skin off of poultry, and using a gas grill instead of charcoal. If you only have a charcoal grill, cook with coconut shell charcoal instead of traditional wood charcoal. A 2012 study found that coconut shell charcoal produced significantly lower amounts of HCAs and PAHs2. The study also suggests using new charcoal every time you grill because “continuous barbecuing with the same charcoal… contribute(s) to higher formation of HCAs and PAHs.”

Furthermore, marinating meat eliminates HCA formation by up to 99%-- a very easy, tasty solution to virtually eliminating harmful carcinogens. Marinating poultry for 2 hours and fish for 1 hour should do the trick! Switch up the routine with a few fun, flavor-boosting marinade recipes:
  1. Simple Rosemary Lemon Marinade and Grilled Chicken by The Slow Roasted Italian
  2. Apple Mustard Marinade by Lady Behind the Curtain
  3. All-Purpose Pineapple and Citrus Marinade by Food Above Gold
  4. Tuscan Chicken Marinade by The Seasoned Mom
  5. Korean BBQ Marinade by The Kitchn
In addition to meats, vegetables and fruits are delicious on the grill.  Carcinogenic compounds do not form on veggies and fruits—making them great options for the barbeque.  Toss veggies in a light coating of olive oil and place them right on the grill. Keep unwieldy fruits and vegetables, like small tomatoes, from rolling around on by using skewers. You can also cook foods like potatoes and chopped veggies in foil to keep them nice and compact when grilling large quantities.  Grilled fruits make a tasty addition to any meal. The sugars caramelize over the warm grate and make the fruit sweet and soft. Mangos and stone fruits are great for the grill. Cut the fruits in half, make sure the grate is clean, and place them directly on the grill skin side up for a couple minutes.

Here are a few great fruit, veggie, and meat grill recipes to get fired up about:
  1. Grilled Spicy Mango by 52 Ways to Cook
  2. Cauliflower Kabobs by Eat Well 101
  3. Grilled Sweet Potato and Vegetable Skewers by A Hint of Honey
  4. Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap by Maebells
  5. Spiced Salmon Kabobs by A Toast to the Good Life
Check out this Healthy Dining Finder post for more ideas. Look for grilled choices like these at restaurants near you to make summer eating for weight loss even easier!


[1] Ferguson, L. (2010). Meat and cancer. Meat Science, 84(2), pp.308-313.
[2] Viegas, O., Novo, P., Pinto, E., Pinho, O. and Ferreira, I. (2012). Effect of charcoal types and grilling conditions on formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in grilled muscle foods. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 50(6), pp.2128-2134.
 

&nbsb;

 
 
 
 
 
 


 
More From Healthy Dining Finder
Join The Healthy Dining Club!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers

 :
 :
 
Top Choice

Fire-Grilled Salmon at Fresh to Order

Today’s top choice is the Fire-Grilled Salmon Entrée at Fresh to Order (F2O).
Read More

Alzheimer's Disease

Foods to Help Reduce Your Risk

Many studies have been conducted recently to explore possible correlations between certain foods and prevention of these diseases. But which foods should we focus on and why?
Read More

Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways

Tasty Recipes from Cuisinicity

Sweet potatoes are everywhere right now, from restaurant menus to top Instagram feeds, and for good reason!
Read More

Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants offer a unique dining experience inspired by our roots and driven by our beers to convey a laid back, San Diego brewery atmosphere.

It's Free!
Get the Latest News, Coupons, Recipes & Special Offers