Bust out those barbecues because Memorial Day is next week, which means the unofficial kickoff to grillin’ season is right around the corner! But you’ll want to follow my four tips to help keep your grilled grub healthy.
Marinate Your Meats
When grilling meat, you always want to marinate it first to minimize exposure to carcinogens associated with grilling dry meats. Plus they can really enhance the flavor of different meats and keep them tender and juicy. Even marinating meats for a short time will help but beware of added sugars in pre-made sauces. The New Primal has their Citrus Herb Marinade that pairs perfectly with chicken and seafood and Classic and Spicy Marinades that go well with red meat, pork and chicken. They are free of gluten, sugar and artificial preservatives to ensure you have a healthy hunk of meat.
Keep it Lean
Grilling is a great way to cook meat to keep fat to a minimum but you also want to pay attention to how much fat your cut of meat has. It’s best to choose meats that are lower in saturated fat to reduce your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. Choose loins or rounds, as those tend to be the leanest cuts, or seafood, which is naturally low in saturated fats and high in heart healthy fats. Avoid processed meats like hotdogs, sausage and (sadly) bacon, which tend to be fattier and come with unhealthy additives.
Don’t Overdo It
Cooking meat for too long to well done is not recommended as it may be associated with an increased risk of certain cancers including prostate, pancreatic and colorectal. Don’t cook meats past the recommended internal temperature: 145° for steak, pork and seafood, 160° for ground meat and 165° for poultry. Try to keep cooking temperatures below 325° and remove any charred bits before chowing down to minimize cancer risk.
Don’t Forget the Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are a great way to enhance the health factor of your grilling sesh by adding tons of fiber. Grilled portobello mushrooms make a great sub or topping for hamburgers and grilled asparagus, corn, peppers, and even lettuces are a great side dish. Veggie kabobs are a fun way to add in pops of color and important vitamins. Use fruit to sweeten things up by adding grilled pineapple for a tropical feel or grilled peaches for a healthy dessert.
Backyard barbecues are such a fun time to bring family and friends together to celebrate summer so enjoy and get creative with cooking. The options are endless!