Our spring is quickly transitioning into summer. So, we all know that means it is time to fire up the grill! As your local cardiologists we wanted to give you some heart healthy grilling tips. But, before we do that, we have to draw a line in the sand when it comes to grilling.
Healthy Grilling: Charcoal versus Gas
This has long divided the grilling world. Do you grill with gas or do you grill with charcoal? Personally, charcoal does give you more flavor and smokiness. But, with charcoal, you can create more char on your meat, which is a carcinogen. So, gas proponents do point out that a gas grill allows for better heat control, resulting in less char. Plus, for your quick grilling needs after a day at work, it is easy and convenient to just fire up the gas. But, if you want flavor, charcoal is your best bet.
Healthy Grilling Tips
Now that we got that bit of nastiness out of the way, we can get on with the grilling. Believe it or not, grilling can be very heart healthy, especially if you follow these simple tips.
- Get the right protein – fish, skinless chicken, and ground poultry are healthy choices. In fact, you can make savory chicken kebobs, fish filets in foil, and even turkey burgers mixed with minced portabella mushrooms. These are crowd favorites, so your friends may not miss red meat, which is high in saturated fat. But, if you do use red meat or pork, seek out “loin” cuts or “choice” and “select” grades instead of “prime”.
- Portion Size – a good size of grilled meat is about three ounces, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
- Soak, rub, or squeeze – Use rubbing spices or marinade for amazing flavors versus salt or sauces. Sauces are very high in sodium. Just let the simple goodness shine through without the use of heavy condiments and dressing. Sometimes, all you need is a squeeze of lime or lemon from some simple, healthy and amazing flavor.
- Add Lots of Color – You know what tastes amazing grilled? Vegetables! Asparagus, peppers, corn, tomatoes and more are amazing when grilled. Their sugars caramelize resulting in a nice sweet With lots of grilled veggies on the side, you won’t miss the smaller portion of the grilled meat.
- Trim the Fat – Remove skin from your poultry and cut off any visible fat from your red meat. However, some fat does ensure flavor. Just make sure that any fat can drip away while grilling.
- Desert from the Grill – Like veggies, grilled fruit is amazing. Try grilling sliced apple, pear, pineapple, peaches, plums, and more. We guarantee that your friends will go crazy for these, and they are super simple and 100 percent natural.
How to Use This Information
You should enjoy eating. You can and still grill healthy. Please, get that grill fired up. And, if you need some help finding great recipes and ideas, we can help. Or, if you have questions about heart healthy eating, give us a call at 303-744-1065.