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Healthy Barbecue Tips

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Is it still a healthy option to Barbecue? Every time we open the web and look for articles regarding Food choices, it bombards us with different theories about the healthiest way to cook,  and which foods are good or bad for you. There is also the worrisome fact that advice can change almost daily! Take into account these Healthy Barbecue Tips when you next fire up your grill.

 

I’m a believer in “everything in moderation” theory. This is difficult to apply to the grill when my family wants to Barbecue at least three times a week!

For years experts have told us that Grilling is one of the cleanest and leanest cooking methods-fat drips away from food as it cooks, no batters and no excess sauces and oils.

Recently information has emerged that there are health risks associated with grilling. Processes that occur when grilling can be hazardous to health – particularly when meat is cooked over high heat on the grill.

Bearing this in mind and after a little research our family has figured out a way forward by following a few basic rules that will result in that Healthy Barbecue.

Avoid “Well done” – VIP Healthy Barbecue Tip

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Investigations and reviews show that higher temperatures contribute to a higher level of HCAs. HCA is a cancer-causing chemical that forms when meat, poultry or fish cooks at high temperatures.

Meat cooked to well done can contain three and a half times more HCAs compared to medium-rare meat.

Blackened meat contains the highest HCA levels – so try to stop this from occurring in the first place or trim these parts off when it happens.

Invest in a thermometer and ensure that internal temperatures reach the correct temperatures for food safety but don’t allow blackening on the outside.

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Marinades help reduce HCA’s – Promotes Healthy Barbecue

Not only can marinades enhance the flavors of meats but studies have shown that marinating meats before grilling can reduce the formation of HCAs by up to 96% (American Institute for Cancer Research).

Apart from the health benefits, marinades can tenderize, add moisture and flavor tougher cuts of meat.

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Marinades should contain liquids such as buttermilk, yogurt, olive oil, citrus juice, soy sauce, honey, beer, etc. Red wine has naturally occurring antioxidants.

The addition of herbs and spices such as mint, ginger, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion further add to the flavor and reduce the risk of the formation of HCAs. Research shows that high concentrations of Rosemary may reduce HCAs by up to 90%.

 

Choose meats carefully

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  • Highly processed meats particularly those with added nitrates such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages have a higher health risk.
  • Make your own burgers and sausages or find a local butcher who makes up his own fresh traditionally made versions.
  • Choose whole, less processed cuts such as steaks, chicken thighs, ribs, fresh fish and seafood.
  • Try and balance the intake of red and white meats. Wherever possible use lean cuts.
  • Use more Vegetables.healthy BBQ tips, enjoy a healthy bbq, bbq with marinades, BBQ thermometers for health, Family Barbecues, the healthiest way to cook, Processes that occur when grilling can be hazardous to health, cancer, hca, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Vegetables served off the grill have that same hot off the grill taste but don’t contain any carcinogens. If you still crave the meat, then consider creating kebabs with alternating chunks of meat and vegetables.

Take care when grilling

  • Flip meat frequently – this will help reduce charring and burning.
  • Cook on medium to medium-high heat.
  • Cover the grill with foil to help reduce drips and flare-ups.
  • Drinking a beer (in moderation!) when cooking helps reduce any HCAs that have formed (my husband’s excuse for Barbecuing so often!).healthy BBQ tips, enjoy a healthy bbq, bbq with marinades, BBQ thermometers for health, Family Barbecues, the healthiest way to cook, Processes that occur when grilling can be hazardous to health, cancer, hca, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

 

Finally, keep the risks in perspective. Whilst HCAs may contribute to your overall health, other factors such as weight and a sedentary lifestyle probably result in higher risk profiles. It’s alright to enjoy that occasional pork belly – just remember to balance with leaner cuts and plenty of vegetables.

All being said just make a few minor adjustments to your Family Barbecues and continue to enjoy a Healthy Barbecue occasion. So, be Healthy and Barbecue!

healthy BBQ tips, enjoy a healthy bbq, bbq with marinades, BBQ thermometers for health, Family Barbecues, the healthiest way to cook, Processes that occur when grilling can be hazardous to health, cancer, hca, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

 

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