Healthy Grilling Tips

Daily Health Solutions, Nutrition
on July 1, 2010

Avoid the burn. 
Wait 20 to 30 minutes after lighting before you start cooking. Cut off any burned or black bits before eating to avoid substances that have been linked to cancer.

Go lean.
Leaner foods mean fewer fat drippings and less charring. Look for cuts of loin, round or leg when selecting beef, pork or lamb. Choose lean or extra-lean ground beef, chicken or turkey.

Give it a soak.
Marinating meat before you grill adds flavor, and studies suggest it may reduce the formation of carcinogens. Never reuse marinade after it touches raw meat.

Know your numbers.
For precise temperatures, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The temperature should reach 160 degrees F for beef and pork, 165 degrees F for poultry, and 140 degrees F for fish.

Get creative.
Hummus, salsa and plain yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber can double as nutrient-packed burger spreads. Veggies like grilled romaine leaves make great sides.

Downsize your dish.
Swap your 12-inch plate for a 10-inch plate. Fill half with vegetables, a quarter with whole grains (rice, pasta, bread) and a quarter with lean protein (meat, chicken, fish, shellfish).

Grill your dessert.
Grilled fruits like pineapple, plums or peaches make a delicious end to your meal. Brush fruit slices with olive oil and place on a clean grill rack. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, then drizzle with honey.

Keep it clean.
Take a few minutes to scrub down your grill rack with a wire brush after each use to prevent future charring, smoke and off-flavors in your food.