Hello, burgers fresh from the grill with toasted buns and crisp toppings…summertime is nearly here. In the midst of barbecue, burgers and beachy bliss, it’s easy to add some health into your grilling routine, along with some flavor too!
Here’s the things (disclaimer: don’t read this if you don’t want to know how your grilled food affects your health!):
When you grill, the char marks that appear on your food aren’t so good for you – they’re actually carcinogenic.
When you’re grilling up some meat, the high heat of the grill can chemically alter the proteins in meat to form carcinogenic compounds. If you’re using a smoker or grill to smoke food, it can also be carcinogenic.
So, what to do? You don’t have to put the grill away – enjoyment is an important part of life, after all. With some healthy tweaks, you can help to balance out the carcinogens.
Cook low and slow. The usual grilling tendency is for cooking at high heat for a short period of time. But the quicker the increase in temperature, the more proteins can denature or turn carcinogenic. Grilling at a lower temperature will take a little more time, but will prevent all of the carcinogenic compounds (plus the meat or fish will be even more delicious).
Incorporate fresh herbs into marinades or to dress grilled meat. Rosemary is especially helpful, as it helps to counteract the carcinogens.
Load up on veggies with your grilled goodness. Not only do they add healthy fiber and freshness, veggies also provide antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols to quench free radicals and nourish your body.
Cheers to your health!