Is grilling a good thing or a terrible thing, as the case maybe? After all, choosing "grilled" meals over "fried" foods is one of the golden principles of eating healthily at restaurants. Because there's no batter coating or dripping oil on grilled food, it's a healthier option. After all, there's something about grilling that makes food look and taste incredible. Is it the smokey flavor, the interesting marinade tastes, the grill lines that develop on the meal, or the fresh taste that comes from cooking anything quickly over high heat? All of the aforementioned are worth a shot!
I'm sorry to break your "isn't-grilling-fun?" bubble, but there are two nutritional drawbacks to grilling in my opinion.
- When many Americans fire up the grill, they wind up eating high-fat meats and sausages, adding even more calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol to their diets.
- Then there are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines, both of which have the potential to cause cancer (HCAs). When beef fat drips onto hot coals or a grill element, PAHs develop. By way of flame-ups and rising smoke, they're subsequently placed on the meal. Unfortunately, PAHs may be found in the delicious charring that occurs on meat. Meanwhile, HCAs are formed when red meat, poultry, and fish are cooked at high temperatures, such as grilling or broiling.
But fear not grilling enthusiasts: there is a new, healthier method to cook!
6 Tips for a Healthier Grilling Experience
If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to barbecue guilt-free.
1. Fruits & Vegetables on the Grill
Grilling fruits and veggies, whether or not you're grilling meat or fish to go with them, is a wonderful idea. We all need more fruits and veggies in our diets, and this is a tasty way to do it. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you in a variety of ways, including lowering your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and some kinds of cancer.
But here's the best part: grilled fruits and veggies don't produce PAHs or HCAs. Plus, if you're eating grilled meat, including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in your meal is a fantastic option.
Grill-friendly fruits and vegetables include:
- Onions Tomatoes
- Peppers (bell)
- Endive Zucchini Eggplant
- Apple and Pear Mango
2. Grill Wisely, Grill Lightly
When grilling meat, start with lean slices that have been trimmed of visible fat and skin to reduce the quantity of fat that drops into the embers. You're off to a healthy start if you grill a very lean cut of beef or pig or skinless chicken. (Following Tip No. 3 may also help tenderize and flavor most lean meats.)
3. Marinate, Marinate, Marinate, Marinate, Marinate, Marinate, Marinate, Marinate,
The notion of infusing flavor into meats, fruits, and vegetables by soaking them in a delicious marinade has to appeal to you. Wines, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices are all popular marinade components. To reduce the amount of fat that drips into the coals, use fat-free or low-fat marinades on your grilled meats, fish, and fowl. In other studies, the mere process of marinating before grilling has been found to decrease HCA production by as much as 92 percent to 99 percent.
Keep the following marinating suggestions in mind:
- Look for goods or recipes that include olive or canola oil whether buying packaged marinades or creating your own (and that only use a little oil).
- Any meals that have been marinating for more than 1/2 hour should be refrigerated.
- Don't baste your meal with the liquid that the meat was marinating in while grilling (this passes raw meat juices to your cooked meat). Set aside part of the marinade before adding the meat for this reason.
- Meats and poultry should marinate for at least 1-2 hours, whereas fish and vegetables just require an hour.
- If you are looking for a grill that delivers some serious heat quickly, visit this buyers guide to find the best infrared grill now.
4. Reduce the amount of time spent grilling
Smaller quantities of meat, poultry, and fish should be grilled to ensure that they cook quickly and spend less time on the grill. Another technique is to cook the meat, fish, and poultry first in the oven or microwave, then finish on the grill.
5. Flip It
According to a recent study utilizing hamburger patties, flipping meals often may help reduce the development of HCAs. Use tongs or spatulas instead of a fork to flip meat without piercing it (which releases fluids that drop onto the embers).
6. Remove the Skewer
Threading tiny pieces of meat or fish on a skewer is a fun technique to cut down on grilling time. Scallops and shrimp are other excellent choices for skewers. I prefer to mix in bell pepper and onion slices, zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, and/or tiny mushrooms with bits of beef, chicken, or shellfish.
What if you don't have any skewers? It's no issue. As skewers, I like to use rosemary branches. They infuse a touch of rosemary into the meat while it cooks, and it makes for a stunning appearance.
Here are three lightened-up grilling dishes to try now that you've learned some healthy grilling tips.
Burger with Teriyaki Portabella Mushrooms and Garlic Mayonnaise
1 vegetarian burger OR 2 pieces of bread + 1/2 cup vegetable (no added fat) + 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 2 portabella mushrooms (about 3 1/2 inches broad), cleaned and stems removed for burgers
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (bottled)
- 2 big, thin slices of low-fat cheese Cheesy Jack (1-2 ounces)
- 2 hamburger buns (multigrain or whole wheat)
- 2 lettuce leaves
- 4 slices of tomato
Garlic 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (light mayonnaise)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- a quarter to a half teaspoon of lemon juice
- a few of drips Worcestershire sauce (Worcestershire sauce) (optional)
Seasoning salt and ground pepper to taste
- Light the embers or fire up the grill. Allow the mushrooms to marinate in the teriyaki sauce while the embers heat up.
- Grill the mushrooms until they are tender, approximately 6 inches from the fire (about 4-5 minutes aside).
- Place the cheese on top and cook for a few minutes to melt it.
- Place lettuce and tomato on each bottom bun before assembling the burgers. Add the cheese-topped mushroom on top. Spread half of the garlic mayonnaise on each top bun and place it on top of the mushroom (the lettuce keeps the bottom bun from getting soggy).
This recipe makes 2 burgers.
268 calories per burger, 14 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 9.5 grams of fat (3.4 grams of saturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0.8 grams of polyunsaturated fat), 11 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 grams of fiber, and 410 milligrams of sodium (not including seasoning salt). Fat calories account for 32% of total calories.
Burgers with Cajun Sirloin
1 "sandwich and burger, moderate-fat beef" in the journal.
Serve these spicy ground sirloin or turkey burgers with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, as well as your favorite barbecue sauce, on a whole-grain bun.
- 1 pound ground sirloin (extra-lean ground beef); or 6 percent fat ground turkey
- 3 tbsp. Italian breadcrumbs, dry
- 3 – 4 tbsp. egg replacement
- 3 chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon seasoning (Cajun)
- 1 tablespoon mustard (prepared)
- four slices (4 ounces) reduced-fat mozzarella or jack cheese
- 4 buns (whole-grain)
- a quarter cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
- 4 big tomato slices 4 lettuce leaves
- Red onion rings (about 12)
- Preheat the grill to medium-high.
- Mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg replacement, green onions, Cajun spice, and mustard in an 8-cup measuring cup using your hands. By hand or with a patty press, form 4 patties.
- Using canola frying spray, lightly coat the grill grate. Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side, or until well cooked. Allow a piece of cheese to melt on each burger before serving.
- Serve the patties with barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion on whole-grain buns.
This recipe serves 4 people
420 calories per serving, 35 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fat (6 grams saturated fat, 6.3 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.4 grams polyunsaturated fat), 46 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 grams of fiber, and 800 milligrams of salt Fat calories account for 30% of total calories.
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