To grill or not to grill?

Grilled chicken skewersWe say a definite YES to grilling! Of course not exactly to the traditional kind of grilling that we might associate with sausages, pork and black pudding 😉 Let’s better focus on what and how to grill to stay healthy and glowing.

There’s nothing better than an evening with family and friends in the garden, having a delicious, savoury barbecue. To fully enjoy the grilling season and hot days, it’s good to know what to put on your grill and what to definitely keep away from it.

Of course buying already marinated meats and sausages is the easiest thing to do, but it’s absolutely not the healthiest one. First of – let’s not kid ourselves – ready to eat products are very far from being natural, they are packed with completely unnecessary and unhealthy additives. Second – pork is a very fat type of meat, full of saturated fatty acids which have a really negative effect on the cardiovascular system. The situation gets even more complicated when we grill it – melting fat slowly drips all over the hot charcoal and causes forming of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are then transported with the smoke directly on the food we have on the grill. The problem is that PAHs show carcinogenic, mutagenic and taratogenic effects- not such good news for our health…

But don’t you worry – there are ways to avoid it 🙂 First of all, try to choose the lean meats, such as chicken or turkey breast, and fish. The less fat there is the product, the lower amount of it will drip on the charcoal, decreasing the amount of PAHs produced. It’s also a good idea to use the aluminum trays – they limit the fat dripping on the charcoal and protect the products from the absorption of the smoke containing the harmful PAHs.

By heating the meat first in a microwave, we can reduce the time it needs on the grill, which in return reduces the contact with the smoke. And here’s another reason not to take the shortcuts while cooking – marinating your meat (preferably overnight) makes it much softer and delicate, which also leads to shorter grilling. Studies showed that garlic, olive oil and rosemary reduce formation of PAHs- isn’t it a great idea for a delicious marinate?

Make sure you grill some vegetables too – it’s not all about the meat! Veggies are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals. Just remember not to overcook your veggies, as high temperature causes vitamins loss.

Bring diversity to your food by using different herbs and spices, find new products and colourful vegetables. Don’t be afraid to grill pineapple or watermelon as a dessert! It’s a great way to keep your nutrition fresh and fun. Remember that when it comes to food, it’s not only nutritional value that counts, but also the flavour. There is nothing worse than complete boredom on your plate!


5 Responses to To grill or not to grill?

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