It’s getting warmer out and summer’s in the air! Many of us are now planning outside activities. Reunions, get-togethers and picnics with family and friends all bring to mind a great tradition —Barbecues!
Grilling and barbecues are an excellent way to kick-start your summer fun and by making just a few adjustments to the typical fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, mayonnaise-soaked salads and chips, you can create yummy dishes that are healthier for you. Before lighting that fire, consider these healthful tips for guiltless grilling:
Marinate leaner cuts of meat to reduce fat and enhance flavour
The following cuts are leaner than 95% lean ground beef:
- Eye of round roast
- Top round steak
- Bottom round roast and
- Top sirloin steak
Skinless chicken breast and turkey breast are great options as well!
Serve up something different
Fish and vegetables are delicious, healthy options for the grill. You can cook heart healthy “meaty” fish, such as salmon directly on the grill or cook more tender fish, such as tilapia in an aluminum foil packet with a good spicy rub or lots of aromatics, such as herbs lemon, or orange.
When it comes to vegetables you can grill them with just a light brush of your favorite oil, vinegar, and spices. Some barbecue favourites include – eggplant, red, yellow, and orange peppers, red onion, Portobello mushrooms, sliced sweet potatoes and zucchini.
Use a dash of spice with lean options
If you still want some good, old-fashioned burgers, consider lean options and adding different ingredients and spices. Great vegetables and spices to use when making your own burgers include: chiles, onions, garlic, pepper and rosemary.
Don’t forget that toppings matter!
Adding bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, and high fat cheese can sometimes double the calories of your average burger and bun.
Curious about the cancer causing elements made from grilling?
Yes, studies suggest that grilling or smoking meat at very high temperatures leads to the production of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that might increase the risk of some types of cancer. Marinating meat and precooking it in the at a lower temperature or using the microwave cooking method before grilling or smoking may help to reduce the formation of these mutagens but remember … Everything in moderation!