As in all types of cooking there are certain foods that are better for our health than others. And the same applies with barbecue grilling. Here at BBQfans we’re taking a look at the foods we should be cooking up if we care about our waistlines, blood pressure and cholesterol – as well as what we should be putting on them.
Get smart with red meat
It’s the number one foodie health concern isn’t it? Some folks claim grilling steak or any other form of red flesh isn’t healthy because it creates amines called HCAs and PAHs (we won’t get all medical and technical on you here but basically it’s claimed they are linked to some cancers).
However, the good news is that cooking at a lower temperature prevents a lot of this potential damage from going ahead. Marinating your steak in red wine for a good couple of hours before grilling it can also block the formation of those nasty HCAs while another medical claim is to do with the popular herb rosemary – rub it on the meat and apparently it can also block the HCAs (and not only that but it can make your steak taste better too – an added bonus!).
Slow down on the sauce
Our barbecues just wouldn’t be the same without a blob or two of Catsup and our other favorite relishes and sauces such as mayo and mustard. Boy do they add flavor. Unfortunately they also add a lot of sugar and salt, especially if you’re squeezing them onto everything you eat (which it’s very easy to do because often they taste so great). We’re not saying cut them out, just watch that you don’t ladle them on without really thinking about how much you really need – or want for that matter.
Be very generous with veg
Most veg is good for us and relatively low in calories. But there are some that are better for grilling with than others. These include onions and eggplant. Why are onions so good? Well, apart from the fact they taste great when just off the grill, they are loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols which in turn are great at dealing with conditions such as heart disease and cancer. And believe it or not, they also increase bone density.
Eggplant is good because well, personally we love the taste and secondly, it has loads of fibre in it. This fills you up pretty quickly which means it’s good news for those trying to cut back their weight a little. Doctors also claim eggplant and its properties can help in the fight against colon cancer.
Make your own burgers
That way you know exactly what’s going in them ie what type of meat they contain (you can always introduce a leaner meat) and exactly how much fat (commercial varieties, especially the less expensive packs, can be full of unhealthy fats).
So what do you reckon? Think you can get a healthier barbecue party going this spring and summer? For more barbecue tips see our website at www.BBQfans.com