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4 Tips For Healthier Summer Grilling


As the weather starts to warm up, many people celebrate with an old-fashioned barbeque with friends and family. While grilled meats have a reputation for being unhealthy, there are plenty of ways to ensure your favorite summer meal is good for you! Continue reading for a few tips for healthier grilling this summer.

Stay Away From Charred Meats

If you love well-done burgers and charred meats, we’ve got some bad news: consuming too much charred meat may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by a significant percent. This is because cooking meat at a higher temperature allows chemicals to form, which can lead to changes in DNA that may, unfortunately, lead to cancer. Stay away from well-done burgers and hot dogs and choose lean meats (trim the fat before grilling) for a healthier meal.

Always Marinate

Did you know that marinade acts as a barrier between your meat and carcinogens? The American Institute for Cancer Research found that marinating meat for at least 30 minutes can reduce the formation of HCAs (heterocyclic amines.) The type of marinade affects the formation of carcinogens, as Caribbean marinades were found to work best with an 88 percent drop in HCAs.

Less Cook Time

Since cooking your meat for a long period of time also increases the formation of carcinogens, try to limit grill time as much as possible. Choose to eat fish more often, as seafood cooks much quicker than other meats, and has many nutrients and vitamins. When you do cook chicken or beef, try to cut it into smaller pieces for kabobs, as they will cook much faster than a whole piece of meat. Also, using the microwave before grilling can significantly cut down on the perfect of HCAs. Partially cook the meat in the microwave for just a few minutes, then immediately place the meat on the grill to finish cooking. This method can remove up to 95 percent of HCAs!

Avoid Processed Meats

While it’s hard to stay away from delicious sausages and hot dogs, do your best to cut back and substitute for healthier choices. Too many processed meats are very bad for health and cause disease, as cancer-causing substances form in these meats when preserved. Instead, opt for turkey burgers, grilled chicken, or even the occasional veggie burger. Meatless substitutes have made great strides in the last few years, and some taste just as good as the real thing!

Live a Healthy Lifestyle with Hearn Kirkwood

Hearn Kirkwood is a private Food Service Distributor that specializes in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and fresh seafood in the Baltimore, Washington, and Virginia area. We have been servicing our valued customers for over 70 years, and we are dedicated to providing all of our customers with the freshest and tastiest products available at competitive prices (and delivered with unparalleled customer service). For more information, give us a call (410) 712-6000 or visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!