- Pre-cook meats. The less contact with high heat and flames the food has the less chance for the formation of carcinogens. Try pre-cooking chicken or other meats in the microwave for a minute or so to lessen cooking time on the grill.
- Use low-fat meats and trim excess fat. The key word in healthful grilling is low-fat. That’s because the fat is what causes the problems, so eating lean is your best bet. Trim all visible fat off of meats and poultry or better yet, eat lean fish or shellfish!
- Use marinades. Marinating low fat foods not only adds flavor but is also a great way to prevent the formation of HA and PAH. The best marinade choice is an extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), citrus and herb concoction (think lemon juice, rosemary, basil or thyme and EVOO). EVOO provides a healthful outer shield to foods; herbs and citrus provide antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to reduce carcinogen formation.
- Avoid flare-ups. Flame flare-ups (i.e, when the fire erupts engulfing food in flames), burn foods—increasing the formation of carcinogenic compounds.
- Don’t char foods. It is not wise to char foods, especially meats. The small areas of char are actually the most highly concentrated sources of HA and PAH, so cut off the charred sections of your BBQ and toss them.
Follow these five tips for safe grilling and enjoy the flavor and health benefits of cooking in this favorite American cooking pastime. Don’t forget to combine your healthy outdoor nutrition with a regular exercise program for total health and fitness. A Fitness Together trainer will develop a program designed to meet your specific goals. You’ll also receive nutritional counseling through the Nutrition Together program, which will complement your workouts. Call Fitness Together Northborough at 508-393-1660, visit fitnesstogether.com/northborough
Let Fitness Together help you make this “summer of 2012” your best yet!