Blog Post

BBQ Grilling in a Healthier Way


Summer is the season for get-togethers with friends and family, and this often goes hand in hand with a mouthwatering barbecue. It’s important to keep in mind that although grilled foods are delicious, it also presents several health risks because they contains carcinogens, which have been linked to cancer.

In this blog post, I’ll tell you about what the risks are and how using healthier grilling techniques can reduce them.

9 ways to grill in a healthier way:

There are several health hazards that are associated with the charring and smoke that emerge when grilling foods at high heats. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are three carcinogens that have been linked to cancer in research studies.

While none of us wants to give up a delicious barbecue, we also want to keep ourselves and our families safe from health risks. Below are nine things you can do to make grilling safer:

1. Grill unprocessed meats. Lean chicken, lean beef and fish, are far more healthier than meats like kielbasa, sausage, and hot dogs. The carcinogens in processed meats are more harmful than those in unprocessed meat.

2. Grill Veggies in a Pyrex pan. Not only are veggies healthy, but also they don’t produce HCAs when charred, and since they don’t drip fat (which results in smoke), they don’t cause any PAHs.

3. Use thinner cuts or kabobs. Meat that cooks faster spends less time on the grill, reducing toxicity. Fish also grills quickly, and is a great choice for healthy grilling. If you trim any excess fat from meat and remove the skin before you cook it, you’ll reduce smoke and PAHs.

4. Marinate Meat and Veggies. Studies have shown that marination reduces the creation of carcinogens by as much as 88%. Marinating chicken, fish and meat has been shown to reduce levels of cancer-causing compounds formed when grilling. The healthiest marinades are thinner, such as those made of vinegar and lemon. Thicker marinades made with honey or sugar char more easily, creating more carcinogenic compounds.

5. Precook Meat. Cooking meat halfway on a skillet or in the oven reduces dripping and time on the grill, reducing PAHs and AGEs.

6. Use a Pyrex. By placing your meat in a large Pyrex container over the low flame on top of the grill, you’ll protect it from the direct fire while still getting the fun of cooking on the grill and the smoky flavor associated with grilling.

7. Reduce Drippings. A layer of foil underneath (but NOT TOUCHING) the meat can be used to collect drippings before they hit coals and release toxins. Never grill food directly on aluminum foil, however. If you’re using a foil-wrap recipe, include a layer of unbleached parchment paper between the food and the foil.

8. Use Safe Grilling Techniques. Flip burgers often (once per minute). While you are cooking, keep all food at least six inches from the flame and avoid charring or overcooking meats.

9. Keep your grill clean. Char from the last meal is just as dangerous if it rubs off on the next. Scrape down your grill between uses to reduce residue.

I hope these tips help you enjoy all of the wonderful parts of summer while keeping yourself healthy!

Don’t forget to take advantage of my monthly sale, going on now at my online store. Most products purchased online are 10% off through midnight Wednesday, June 7th.

If you have any further questions or concerns, call The Khader Center at (914) 752-2815.

Enjoy your summer, and be healthy!

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