There are health benefits to cooking your food on the grill versus on the stove or oven. We’ll go over some of the health benefits and give you some tips to serve up some tasty and healthy meals. Let’s start with the five health benefits.
1. You Eat Less Fat
When you grill, you eat less fat because the excess drips off the grates. Think about cooking a burger on the grill versus in a pan on your stove-top. On the grill, the fat cooks off. In a pan on the cooktop, the fat has nowhere to go, so it pools and is eventually re-absorbed by the meat.
2. Vegetables on the Grill are Better for You
Most people don’t realize that vegetables retain more of their vitamins and minerals when they’re grilled. This is especially true with veggies that have a low water content.
Plus, vegetables that you toss on the grill are usually fresh and in season, which are a step above the canned versions. Wrapping in tin foil or just placing on top of your grill, cooking your veggies in this manner is nutritionally advantageous than boiling or frying.
3. Meat Retains Nutrients
When you toss a slab of meat over the fire, it actually preserves more riboflavin and thiamine. Both of these nutrients play a vital role in a healthy diet, as well as have many health benefits associated with each of them.
4. You Use Less Butter
If you’re a master with the grill, and not overcooking your food, you’ll have juicy cuts of meat and tasty veggies. Because the grill locks in more moisture, you’ll be less inclined to reach for the butter or other condiments to jazz up your food. Not only does that means you eat fewer calories, but you put less unhealthy stuff in your body.
5. Grilling Goes With Outside Activities
The act of grilling gets you outdoors. A lot of parents toss around a Frisbee or kick a ball around the grass with their kids while grilling dinner. The act of cooking and eating outdoors encourages more activity, which we all know is just an added health bonus to go along with your delicious dinner.
5 Tips for Healthy Grilling
Before you fire up the grill for tonight’s dinner, we have a few tips to make your next meal even healthier. Here are five tips to improve your family’s diet as you grill away.
1. Buy Lean Meats
While cheeseburgers are grilling staple, you should vary your outdoor menu. Try lean cuts of meat like chicken, fish or pork. When you’re craving a burger, pickup the leanest beef you can find. Look for 93/7 marked on the package. That means just 7 percent is fat. The leaner the meat, the healthier it is for you.
2. Grill Your Veggies
Every meal should have veggies, so when you’re grilling, add a few peppers or zucchini to the grill. Try grilling sweet corn or make veggie kabobs as a side dish. A spinach salad with light vinaigrette dressing is another nutrient-packed addition that is a favorite amongst many people.
3. Use Gas Rather Than Charcoal
Depending on who you ask, some doctors have suggested that charcoal used during the grilling process can expose you and your food to cancer-causing chemicals.
If you want to use charcoal to cook, it’s recommended that you don’t overcook the meat and keep it out of the smoke as much as possible. If you can, doctors recommend using a gas grill. Not only is it a cleaner way to cook, you also avoid the possible side dish of a well-known carcinogen.
4. Marinate Your Meats
Who doesn’t love a steak marinated in a honey garlic glaze, or lemon pepper pork chops?
The good news is that marinating doesn’t just improve the taste of your dinner, it may actually improve your health. When meat is cooked at high temperatures or cooked over charcoal, there are some concerns about cancer-causing chemicals seeping into the meat. Marinating the meat, however, is believed to help eliminate these chemicals by up to 99%.
5. Try Healthy Alternatives
If burgers and steak are your go-to grilling options, you can always take to the Internet for some inspiration. There are all sorts of creative and surprising recipes for the grill. For example, have you ever tried making a pizza on the grill? It’s an option. Grab some whole-wheat dough at the store, turn the grill on high and add some sauce and veggies to grill something other than beef.
While summertime is usually synonymous with grilling, when the weather starts to chill and the seasons change, you can also try a small electric grill that you can use indoors. It will tide you over until you fire up the barbie once again.