Monday, June 10, 2013

Let The Flames Begin!! How To Grill Healthfully This Summer

Grilling can be great, or it can introduce carcinogens to your food ... depending on nothing more than what you cook, and how you cook it. 

The best part of this nutrition advice is that it's the same advice I would give you to make your food taste better!!

Take it easy on the Woolly Mammoth 
One of the main problems is grilling over a very high heat. I know we love the flames because it makes us feel all CAVEMAN and all, tossing a woolly Mammoth on the Barbi, and all. But this is exactly what can convert proteins found in red meat, pork, poultry and fish into heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These chemicals have been linked to breast, stomach, prostate and colon cancer.
This is what we call "the danger from within", because it arises from the meat itself. The other danger comes from outside the meat, in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This arises (literally) from the smoke that forms when fat drippings drip their drippage onto the coals.

The Good News. 
You don't have to give up grilling. Just follow a few simple rules this summer (adapted from US News & World Report). 
  • Choose meats wisely. Avoid grilling high-fat meats, like ribs and sausages. Instead, choose lean meats, which create less dripping and less smoke. Always trim excess fat and remove skin. It's also a good idea to choose smaller cuts of meat, such as kabobs, which require less cooking time.
  • Try thin marinades. Thicker marinades tend to char, which could increase exposure to cancer-causing agents. Choose marinades made with vinegar or lemon, which will form a protective layer on the meat.
  • Reduce grilling time. Always thaw meat before cooking. Meat and fish also should be partially cooked in the microwave before grilling. This will reduce cooking time and the risk for smoke flare-ups.
  • Flip often. Flip your flipping burgers once every minute will help prevent burning or charring.
  • Consider food placement. Be sure to place food at least six inches away from a heat source.
  • Create a barrier. Do not allow juices to spill and produce harmful smoke. Line the grill with aluminum foil or cook on cedar planks.
  • Consider veggies. Try grilling your favorite vegetables since they do not contain the protein that forms harmful HCAs. Char your veg if you like, because it's only the protein combined with the sugars that create them. 

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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