There are various cooking methods, but grilling remains a fascinating solution when we need to entertain friends outdoor and cook simultaneously. Aside from the fun it provides, it is also a healthy way of cooking compared to other cooking methods that increase an individual’s risks of various nutritional and health problems.
Today, we will be looking at the benefits of grilling foods and tips that can make grilled food healthier for consumption.
Tips for Healthy Grilling
(1) Use Gas Instead of Charcoal
While grilling, it is advisable to use gas instead of charcoal to prevent your food from being exposed to direct heat. Using charcoal for grilling exposes your food to chemicals that can cause cancer. We recommend using gas grills, such as those offered by outdoorcookingpros, for your outdoor cooking.
(2) Choose Lean Proteins
Indeed, there are various parts and meat cuts for consumption but as for your grilling menu, ensure you choose meat cuts that are low in fat but high in protein, for example, lean cuts of meat like chicken, pork, or fish. Choosing a lean protein for grilling helps you reduce the risk of taking excess fat while also providing you with the nutrients you need.
(3) Include Vegetables in Your Menu
It is a healthy choice to complement your grilled foods with vegetables to increase your diet’s nutritional quality. Include vegetables, especially those with lower content, in your grill menu because they retain more vitamins and minerals when they’re grilled.
(4) Marinate Your Meats
Grilling can also be unhealthy if it is not done correctly. While grilling your meat, ensure you marinate it with spices or fresh herbs instead of sauces. This helps to bring out the flavor in the meat and, more importantly, reduces cancer risk as marinating helps prevent carcinogenic compounds from seeping into the meat.
(5) Use A Food Thermometer
To prevent your food from getting overcooked or undercooked, always use a food thermometer while grilling. A food thermometer helps you rule out uncertainties about eating undercooked food that can increase your risk of microbial contamination.
(6) Maintain Proper Hygiene
A famous saying goes, “Hygiene is two-thirds of health.” Maintaining proper hygiene is another important tip to ensure a healthier grilling. Make a habit of scrubbing down the grill pan after each grilling to remove leftover grease and pieces of food stuck in the grill.
Maintaining proper hygiene of your grill will not only prevent the risk of eating contaminated foods but also prevent your food from getting burnt or having a bitter flavor the next time you use the grill.
Benefits of Grilling
(1) Food Retains Nutrients
One of the factors that reduce the nutrient composition of the food we eat is the cooking methods we use in preparing them. Grilling is one of the cooking methods that help to prevent the loss of nutrient.
Grilling helps to preserve some essential B-Vitamins that help in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Most significantly, thiamin and riboflavin are preserved when the food is tossed over the fire frequently.
(2) It Helps to Prevent Weight Gain
Grilling is one of the healthy cooking methods that help to prevent the risk of gaining weight. During grilling, excess fat in food drips off as the food melts, thereby removing unhealthy fat and reducing the calories in the food, unlike other cooking methods such as frying that allows fat to be reabsorbed into the food.
Removing excess fat and reducing the number of calories consumed can help minimize the risk of fat blockage in the arteries and control weight gain.
(3) Low Sodium Intake
Excessive sodium intake can be hazardous to health as high sodium intake increases the risk of hypertension. However, this can be prevented in grilling because grilling enhances food flavor, thereby reducing the need to add more salt.
(4) Reduces Risks of Health Problems
Some cooking methods like frying have been reported to increase the risk of specific health problems, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart diseases, etc. For instance, in pan-frying, frying oils can quickly become saturated when heated for an extended period. Foods can absorb these saturated oils, and therefore increase the calories and fat you consume.
Eating foods containing saturated fat and high calories can increase the risk of various kinds of chronic diseases. But since the food, meat, for instance, cooks in its own fat while grilling and no extra oil is added, the risk of chronic diseases is also reduced.
Grilling is one of the healthiest cooking methods. However, if done incorrectly, it can cause health problems or even food poisoning. Therefore, when grilling your food, you need to make sure you’re doing it right and follow the basic cooking rules.
Grilling can also increase cross-contamination risk, so make sure you separate raw food from cooked food when using cutting boards and other kitchen utensils. Also, avoid mixing your ready-to-eat vegetables with raw food and ingredients.
Lastly, grilling equipment and ingredients is another crucial factor in determining how healthy your grilled food is. If you want to prepare nutritious and delicious grilled food time and time again, use high-quality tools and pick the best ingredients available on the market.
Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.