Healthy Grilling
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Love summing grilling but want to reduce your risk of releasing some potentially harmful health risks? Check out our BBQ tips.

DID YOU KNOW ...  Grilling is healthier than pan frying becuase it allows the grease to drip away the food? 

Grilling is a great way to cook your meals, especially during the warm summer months. There are just a couple of things we need to look out for when grilling to ensure that we stay away from toxins that can increase potential health risks.

There is no direct evidence that grilling causes harmful health risks but cooking meat at high temperatures on the grill causes toxins to be released which can be linked with some health risks. When grilling, there are 2 toxins to look out for: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs).

Where do they come from? 

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS)

Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs)

  • Form when fat or juices from meat drip onto open flame and burns on the grill
  • As smoke moves around in the grill, PAHS are left on whatever you are grilling and then you eat it.
  • Form when protein-rich foods (beef, pork, fish or poultry) are cooked at a very high temperature.
  • Charred meat can be a sign that HCAs are left on your food.

The key to healthy barbequing is to avoid charring or burning and prolonging contact between the food and the flame. 

 Healthy Grilling Tips:

1) Clean your BBQ! Use a proper grill brush and remove any left-over charred bits that may be harmful. Once the grill is clean, try rubbing half of an onion on the grill to add flavour.

2) Grill colourful vegetables! This will limit the quantity of meat you grill and increase your daily vegetable intake! Try drizzling vegetables with olive oil and an inch of salt and pepper, then place on grill for 5-10 minutes per side.

3) Avoid eating charredor blackened parts of the meat.

4) Pre-cook your foods! Use the oven or stovetop and finish them off on the grill – less grill time means less risk of toxins in your food.

5) Wrap your vegetables! Use tin foil to wrap your vegetables and avoid direct contact with the flames.

6) Marinate your meats!Whether you marinate your meats overnight or for a couple of hours before cooking, marinade may help reduce HCA formation, especially if your marinade contains ginger, rosemary or turmeric. The marinade protects the meat by keeping the flames from touching it and adds a ton of flavour!

7) Avoid pouring marinadeon your meat while on the grill, as it may drip and burn causing flaming and charring.

8) Grill on low for longer! This limits the possibility of exposing the food to potentially harmful chemicals from the smoke.

9) Trim away! Buy skinless meat and trim the fat off before grilling to limit fat intake.

10) Check the temperature!Use a thermometer. Red meat should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat!



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