Nothing feels more like summer than a family barbeque! They are a sight, sound and smell of the warmer months and there’s something about cooking food outside on a patio grill to create fun and relaxation! 

Most people view grilling as a healthful type of meal preparation. But it is not quite as simple as slapping whatever you like on the barbeque and trying to control how much it burns!

There are some genuine health hazards to be aware of related to the cooking techniques. And choosing the right foods to grill is also  critical to creating not of a fun barbeque but a properly nutritious one as well. Something that still offer juiciness and flavor whilst keeping the fat and sodium levels in check.

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It is possible!

Try some of these tips for a healthier summer barbeque:

1) When grilling meats, chemicals are formed called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which studies have found may be carcinogenic and increase your risk for cancer.

Marinating however can decrease HCA formation and spices in particular are beneficial like rosemary, garlic, thyme and sage. Alcohol, red wine and beer can also decrease the formation of HCAs. Studies have found it can decrease carcinogens by 40%.

2) Cooking at a lower heat can also decrease the formation of HCAs and PHAs. Plan on a little more time and cook at or below 325 degrees. Using a meat thermometer can help during the cooking process. Use the recommended numbers on the thermometer to achieve optimal internal temperature. Another cooking technique for healthier barbequing is microwaving your meat a few minutes prior to grilling.

Just 2 minutes in the microwave can decrease HCAs by 90%.

healthy barbecue recipes _2

3) Grilling vegetables is a great way to cut down on carcinogens since they don’t produce the carcinogens like meats do. Making kebabs using a mixture of meat and vegetables is a great way to reduce your intake of HCAs.

Vegetables that are particularly good grilled include: mushrooms like portabellas, corn on the cob, bell peppers, onions, squash, and zucchini. Grilled radicchio and Bok Choy are not as common cooked on the grill but they are a tasty addition.

Another healthful tip is using a grill basket. You can mix several different types of vegetables with marinade and spices and place the basket directly on the grill. Also try marinated shrimp that cook very quickly in a grill basket.

4) To reduce fat and calories, use leaner cuts of meat that have been marinated, chicken breast, and fish. Salmon is great on the grill since it contains a fair amount of fat but these are high in healthy Omega 3s.

Fish cut into steaks often work better than fillets in terms of placing on and taking off the grill. Calamari and octopus steaks hold up great on the grill as well due to their dense consistency. They are fairly bland in flavor so marinating is essential before cooking.

Everybody loves a barbeque! If you grill on a regular basis use these tips for healthier summer meals and enjoy healthy barbeque recipes.

Connect here with Watchfit Expert Angela Moore

References; Health.com, WebMD, Cancer.gov

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