Grill, grill, grill! We can all agree, no matter how hot or cold it might be, it is always great grilling weather. From brats to burgers, there are always plenty of great options for savouring and searing. The best part of all is, it isn’t just fun to grill, it can actually be healthy for you as well. There are some important health benefits to grilling your food versus cooking it in the oven or on top of the stove. We will be covering some of these health benefits and provide you with some tips on how to serve some healthy and delicious meals. Let’s begin with five major health benefits of grilling.
1. Reduced Fat Concentration
Whenever you grill your food, you eat less fat because the excess fat drips off of the grates. Just think about cooking a hamburger in a pan on the stove versus on the grill. The fat burns off when you cook the meat on the grill. However, when you use a pan on top of the stove, there is nowhere for the fat to go. Therefore, it pools and gets re-absorbed by the meat eventually.
2. Greater Retention of Minerals & Vitamins
A majority of people are not aware that more minerals and vitamins are retained by vegetables when they are grilled. That is especially true for vegetables with a lower water content. In addition, vegetables that you throw on the grill usually are in season and fresh which is better than the canned or frozen version. You can just put them on top of the grill. Cooking your vegetables this way is nutritionally superior to frying or boiling.
3. Greater Retention of Nutrients
Whenever you throw a slab of meat onto the fire, it preserves more of the thiamine and riboflavin. These nutrients are both essential to a healthy diet, and have numerous health benefits that are associated with them.
4. Reduced Need for Condiments
If you don’t overcook your food and are good at grilling, then you will have tasty vegetables and juicy cuts of meat. It’s all about getting the right grilling techniques down. Since more moisture is locked in by the grill, you won’t be as inclined to use as much butter or other types of condiment in order to give your food flavour. This will result in you eating fewer calories and you will be introducing less unhealthy food in your body.
5. Increased physical activity
Grilling gets you out into the great outdoors. While the food is grilling, many parents also kick a ball around on the grass or throw a Frisbee around with their kids. Grilling and eating outdoors promote more physical activity, and we all know that is an additional health bonus on top of the delicious food we get to enjoy.
5 Healthy Grilling Tips
Before firing the grill up to make dinner, read the following 5 tips to help make grilling even healthier thus improving your family’s diet through grilling.
1. Buy Lean Meats
Although cheeseburgers are definitely a grilling staple, it is a good idea to vary your menu. Try out lean cuts of meat such as pork, fish or chicken. Whenever you are craving a hamburger, choose the leanest beef you can get. Look for meat that is marked 93/7 on the package. What that means is that only 7 percent of it is fat. And the leaner a meat is, the healthier it is.
2. Grill Your Vegetables
You should include vegetables with every meal. Therefore, when you are grilling add some zucchini or peppers to the grill. Try making a side dish wi grilled veggie kabobs or sweetcorn. Another favorite that is loaded with nutrients is a spinach salad tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing.
3. Use Gas Instead Of Charcoal
It will depend on who you ask, but there are some doctors who have said that using charcoal in your grilling process may expose your food and you to cancer-causing chemicals. When using charcoal for cooking, it is recommended not to overcook your meat and avoid as much of the smoke as you can. If possible, doctors recommend that a gas grill be used. It is a cleaner cooking method and you can avoid carcinogens.
4. Marinate Meat
Everyone loves lemon pepper pork chops or steak marinated with a honey garlic glaze. Fortunately, marinating can improve your health in addition to how your food tastes. When you cook meat over charcoal or at a high temperature, there are concerns about cancer-causing chemicals potentially seeping into your meat. However, marinating your meat is thought to eliminate chemicals by as much as 99%.
5. Try Healthy Alternatives
If your go-to grilling options are steak and burgers, you can always look online for some inspiration. It is very easy to find all kinds of surprising and creating grilling recipes. For example, did you know you can make a pizza on your grill? Just get some whole-wheat dough at your grocery store, turn your grill up to high, and then add some vegetables and sauce to grill something besides beef.
Although usually summertime is synonymous with BBQ, whenever the weather starts to get cold, you can always get a small electric grill to use indoors. That will tide you over until it’s time to fire up your grill once again.