When it comes to grilling, choosing lean meats is only part of the challenge for keeping it healthy – because the wrong grilling strategies can actually cause harmful compounds that we definitely don’t want at our BBQ. So today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 4 simple steps to ensure nutritious, delicious backyard grilling!
Grilling is linked to the formation of harmful compounds:
- Grilling meat or seafood over an open flame can form compounds called PAH’s & HCA’s; these compounds are linked to changes in our DNA that can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
- PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are created from flame-up that occurs when fat drops from meat into the grill.
- HCA’s (heterocyclic amines) occur when amino acids and sugars are heated to high temperatures.
4 steps to ensure nutritious, delicious backyard grilling:
Keep it Lean
- Opt for lean cuts of meat + trim visible fat to prevent fat from dripping and causing flame flare-ups
- Grill poultry with skin-on to keep it moist, but remove skin before eating
- Add seafood, veggies and fruits to your grilling lineup
- Marinating meat before grilling can significantly decrease HCA formation
- Use light olive oil and/or marinades low in sugar
- Tip: Brush on Swerve Chipotle Whiskey Barbeque Sauce
- Spread aluminum foil onto the grill, adding small holes to allow fat from the meat to drain through
- Helps to prevent the flare-up from flames below
Mix in Produce:
- Grilled fruits and don’t produce HCA’s
- Plant-based meat substitutes + fruits and veggies are linked to a lower risk of cancer
- Think kebobs, grilled fruit dessert, and grilled veggie “steaks” like Portobello and eggplant
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD