Grilling has been considered one of the healthiest ways to cook for many years. However, more recently, there has been quite a bit of controversy over the potential health hazards that may be found in grilled foods, such as carcinogens produced by the fat dripping off the food into the flames. So does this mean you have to completely give up your beloved barbecue?
We don't think so.
Grilling can still be a very healthy way of preparing your food because it minimizes the amount of added ingredients and fat.
Here is a quick guide that can help you barbecue better:
- Marinate. By marinating your meat in olive oil and seasonings, you may be reducing the amount of carcinogens being put off as the marinade may create a protective barrier between the meat and the heat of the grill. Additionally, your marinade may contain antioxidants which are able to ward off any carcinogens trying to sneak their way into your food.
- Clean. Always keep a grill brush handy and be sure to use it before and after using your barbecue pit. Not only will your food taste better, but less build-up on your grill also means less build-up of carcinogens.
- Go lean. By grilling lean meats, such as chicken, fish and shellfish, you will have less chance of fat dripping into the flames causing the smoke which may contain those harmful carcinogens. Plus-lean meats are much better for your heart and your health than fatty red meats!
- Avoid over-charring. Though a little bit of char is okay, you want to refrain from too much of it as more char means more carcinogens. If you happen to burn your meat a little too much, be sure to cut off the charred portions before you eat it.
- Cook meats with a shorter cook time.The faster foods are cooked, the less chance they have of charring. Foods such as chicken and fish tend to take much less time to cook then, say, a big, thick steak.
What will you be cooking up this weekend?