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6 Tips for Healthy Meals on the Grill

Sun’s out, guns out?

More like sun’s out… grill’s out!

You don’t need us to tell you summer is prime time to get outside, break out the propane and invite everyone you know over for a barbecue.

But you may need The American Cancer Association to break down the steps you should take in order to decrease dangerous chemicals (known as heterocyclic amines) that are sometimes created when you cook meats at very high temperatures.

So use some sunscreen. Drink lots of water. And keep these tips in mind over the hot months…

Red, Red Wine: Use marinades made with vinegar, citrus juice or red wine, which are rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that marinating meats before cooking reduces HAs from being formed.

Lean In: Choose lean cuts of meat and trim excess fat. Why? Because fat dripping on to hot coals creates excess smoke and flare ups resulting in potential carcinogens.

Time… Out: Reduce time on the grill. Pre-cook meats ahead of time in the microwave, oven or by par-boiling. This is why: it creates the same grill flavor with a reduction in the carcinogens that from when protein is grilled for an extended period.

Foiled Again!: Line the grill with foil and poke holes in it so that the fat can still drip off, but flare-ups are prevented and smoke flowing back onto the meat is reduced.

Ya Burnt?: Avoid charring the meat or eating blackened and burned parts since these have the highest heterocyclic amine concentration.

Taste the Rainbow: Grill colorful fruits and vegetables. The carcinogens formed when meat is grilled are actullly not formed when you grill fruits and vegetables.