6 Tips for Healthy Grilling

Camping and grilling go hand-in-hand. Everyone loves to roll out the grill and cook their favorite meals while enjoying the outdoors. Grilling is generally seen as a healthy alternative to frying food or even baking it. While this is true, there has been extensive research on the negative effect of carcinogens on the body and how grilling can increase the amount you consume. Carcinogens are linked to being one of the causes of Cancer and should be limited as much as possible. Here are some ways that you can grill healthier for you and your family!

1. Marinate Your Meat: Marinating meat helps to reduce carcinogens. Kansas State University researchers marinated steaks in three different mixtures of oil, vinegar, and herbs and spices. After grilling, carcinogens in the marinated steaks were cut by 57 to 88 percent. Dozens of studies confirm the effect. The reason it works is not so clear: The marinade may create a protective barrier between the meat’s proteins and the heat of the grill. Or the antioxidants in the marinade may combat the carcinogens head-on.

2. Clean Your Grill: Keep your grill clean by scrubbing with a brush before and after grilling food. Scrubbing keeps the buildup of carcinogens left on the grill grates to a minimum and makes your food taste so much better.

3. Ban Flare Ups: When you cook a fatty piece of meat, the fat that drips onto the flames creates smoke which may contain the much talked about carcinogens. If you grill lean meats, poultry, and fish, you’ll have less fat which means less smoke, which means less of the bad stuff.

4. Beware of Burnt: A bit of char is unavoidable (and it tastes good), but incinerated meat will contain more cancer-causing compounds. Don’t get the coals superhot and then plop fatty meat directly on the grill. The blackened parts of meat may also contain carcinogens, so remove all charred or burned portions of food before eating.

5. The Shorter the Cook Time, The Better: The faster foods are cooked, the less likely they’ll develop dangerous charring. Don’t cook meat past its goal temperature: 165 degrees for ground poultry; 160 degrees for ground red meats or mixtures and fresh pork; or 145 degrees for red meat steaks or chops.

6. Try Veggies: Go beyond meat and try grilling some unexpected foods like peaches, asparagus, or even bread. Throw fruits and veggies on the grill for a tasty, nutrient-rich side or dessert or give pizza a try for a quick dinner.

See the full article and even more tips from Cooking Light!

Happy Camping! 🙂