As the co-founder of Beyond Bodyz Personal Training and Nutrition, I’m here to share some tips on how to grill in a healthier way this summer. I understand the excitement around barbecues, but it’s crucial to be aware of their health implications.
Grilling, especially meat, at high temperatures can lead to the production of carcinogens, which are compounds linked to cancer. Also, barbecues often revolve around high-calorie, fatty food choices. But don’t fret! Here at Beyond Bodyz, we have put together some handy tips to make your summer grilling healthier.
Firstly, consider the grill you’re using. Gas grills are a better choice as they create fewer carcinogens than charcoal grills and you can control the temperature more effectively, avoiding those ultra-high temperatures that produce the most harmful compounds.
Also, maintaining cleanliness is crucial. Old residues of charred food can contaminate your meal, so ensure you clean your grill with a wire brush and then a wet cloth regularly.
Grill at lower temperatures. This reduces the production of harmful compounds and it’s easier with gas grills. Remember, food cooked this way might take longer to get ready.
At Beyond Bodyz, we always encourage using foil on the grill. It prevents the carcinogenic smoke from sticking to your food and shields you from inhaling it, yet allows the fat to drip through.
Marinating your meat before grilling can help too. Apart from adding flavor, marinades can reduce the production of carcinogens by up to 88%. Use homemade marinades to control the content of salt, sugar, fat, and calories.
Handle your meat safely to avoid any risk of raw or undercooked meat. Use different dishes for raw and cooked meat and ensure each type is cooked to the correct internal temperature.
Don’t forget about vegetables! Grilled veggies produce fewer harmful compounds than meat and are a more nutritious option. Think eggplant, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers.
Fish, another healthy grilling option, is often overlooked. Try grilling sturdier fish like salmon, tuna, or mahi mahi. For flakier fish, consider wrapping it in foil before grilling.
Avoid sugary, high-calorie sauces. Keep your grilling simple, letting the natural flavors of food shine through. If you want to ditch buns, you’ll cut down on some extra carbs. If you do use buns, opt for whole grain ones.
As part of our Beyond Bodyz Competition Lifestyle Meal Plans, we pay special attention to sides and desserts. Avoid high-calorie sides like creamy salads and butter-drenched corn, and choose vinegar-dressed salads instead. For dessert, skip the ice cream and offer grilled fruits.
Remember, your summer barbecues don’t have to compromise your health or your fitness goals. Enjoy the outdoor grilling season and stay healthy with these tips from Beyond Bodyz. And if you want to delve deeper into making healthy food choices, consider our comprehensive Nutrition Coaching course. Now, get out there and fire up that grill!