Is It Health Hazardous?
Preparing barbecue in summer time as well as gatherings at home in the backyard, are perfect way to relax, celebrate holidays, and spend time with family and friends.
But before you fire up the grill, you should plan a healthy menu.
Everyone loves a good barbecue, but research has shown that grilling meats at high heat can cause the carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form.
And it’s not an insignificant amount. One study found that people who consume well-done meat—grilled, barbecued, pan fried, or broiled—on a regular basis were 60% more likely to get pancreatic cancer. Longer cooking times might also increase the risk of stomach, lung, and breast cancer.
Bu reading this , you don’t have to give up your burgers just yet.There are plenty healthy ways to prepare good healthy BBQ.
Choose Healthy Proteins
“Loose” the hamburgers and hot dogs. Red meats like pork, lamb and beef, and processed meats like hot dogs, ham, sausage and bacon can increase your risk for colorectal cancer.
Instead, choose healthier proteins such as:
- turkey breasts
- skinless chicken
These options are lower in fat and can help you maintain a lean body weight.
If you must keep hamburgers and hot dogs on the menu, choose low-fat and preservative-free meats. Also, limit red meat to no more than 18 oz. – that’s six 3 oz. servings (each serving is about the size of your palm or a deck of cards).
In addition, it’s important to cook your meats properly to avoid exposure to cancer-causing substances. Some ways to do this include:
- Not charring or burning meat
- Trimming the fat
- Using a marinade
Seasonal Fruits And Vegetables
You can add a variety of colors to your plate with fruits and vegetables.They’re loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to help prevent cancer and improve overall health. Plus, eating more plant foods makes it easier to reduce body fat and maintain a healthy weight.
You can also grill onions, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, corn on the cob and watermelon. Choose foods in season to enjoy the most flavors.
- Lightly oil the grill to keep food from sticking
- Chop but don’t peel veggies and leave corn on the cob whole and in the husk. The peels provide more nutrients and a smokier flavor.
- Marinate or add a dash of seasoning to maximize flavor. For fruit, try cinnamon.
- Use skewers, foil or a grilling pan as helpful cooking tools
Also, fresh, chopped fruits and veggies are perfect add-ins for tossed salads. But when it comes to pasta and potato salads, you’ll need to make a few additional changes:
- Use low-fat mayonnaise or replace half the mayo with non-fat Greek yogurt
- Use whole wheat pasta
- Use light salad dressing and put less than the recipe requirements
Fresh Fruit Desserts
You can create healthy, delicious desserts,just by using fresh fruits and little or no added sugar.
Your healthiest dessert options should include:
- Fruit salad with a scoop of low-fat ice cream or yogurt
- Shortcake or angel food cake with fresh berries
- Apple crisp or peach cobbler with cinnamon
- Chopped fruit topped with nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut and cinnamon
Filling The Plate
Now that your table is loaded with healthy foods, fill your plate appropriately.
Make two-thirds your plate plant-based foods, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains or beans, and one-third lean proteins. Watch out for starchy vegetables, like baked beans, corn and potatoes. They have beneficial fiber and vitamins, but should be no more than one-quarter of your plate.
In addition, your next barbecue shouldn’t be all about the food. Include a physical activity to get everyone moving, like kickball, softball, badminton or Frisbee.
An activity will not only burn more calories, but also encourages family interaction and fun.
So, let the fun begin!