Most of us think of grilling as an easy low-fat way alternative to cooking on the stove top. But how healthy is your grilling, really? Let’s take a closer look at your grilling habits and choices!
Choose low-fat proteins when planning your main course. This includes skinless chicken, trimmed pork chops, shrimp, and ground turkey. Hot dogs taste great grilled, but you could be stocking up on a lot of fat – up to half your aloted intake for the day by eating only two! So always opt for chicken or turkey and check out the back of the package before buying those dogs to compare fat grams. Learn more about the different types of fats.
Measure Your Marinade
Homemade marinades seem really healthy, but they can be another “hidden” source of fat. Remember that just one tablespoon of olive oil has 14 grams of fat, so go easy on the oil and opt for other ways to flavor your meat and veggies including tomato paste, fresh herbs, fresh juices and juice concentrates, and fat-free condiments like soy sauce and mustard – the combinations are endless!
Food safety is always important no matter what cooking technique you choose. Bacteria grow quickly when the weather is hot, so you’ll need to take extra care. The best way to ensure your meat is safe is to keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to grill. Using mess-free zipper lock bags are a great way to marinate you goodies overnight and an easy way to transport food outdoors.
Keep it Clean
No one relishes this task!! But keeping your grill clean from burnt food residue, dirt, and rust can help keep harmful, potential cancer-causing particles out of your food. Having a clean grill can also improve your cooking by improving the taste. If you have a gas grill with a lid, you can turn up the heat to high – a great way to kill bacteria. Scrape it down with a wire brush and get ready to grill. Or remove the grill and use plain ole soap. Be sure to heat up your grill after you rinse to keep rust away.
- Learn more about healthy grilling make-overs from nutritionist Joy Bauer.
- Don’t have access to an outdoor grill? Find out what my friend Kathy from startcooking.com suggests.