10 Tips for Guilt-Free Grilling
Grilling season is fast approaching and with this comes the traditional high fat, high calorie meals. This summer try something healthier by following these 10 simple tips for guilt-free grilling.
- Grill up some color. Add vegetables such as sliced bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, onions, rutabaga, carrots, corn on the cob, summer squash and mushrooms to provide a variety of flavors and nutrients to your summer meal.
- Make your own marinade. Store bought marinades may contain excessive amounts of sodium. Create your own with an olive oil or citrus juice base.
- Season with herbs. Rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano can be added to meats before grilling to provide a flavorful meal. Steer clear of salt and seasonings containing salt or sodium.
- Portion size matters. Keep meat sizes around 3-4 ounces per serving, about the size of an iPhone.
- Trim the fat. Trim excess fat from meats before grilling to decrease calories and artery-clogging “bad” saturated fats.
- Keep it lean. Choose chicken, fish, shrimp and lean pork more often than beef. These meats are lower in saturated fat. It’s also important to avoid highly processed meats such as hot dogs, salami, sausage and pepperoni because of the high sodium content.
- Better beef. Read labels for “round,” “chuck,” or “loin.” Choose extra lean ground beef which is 95-97 percent lean.
- Try turkey burgers. Cook up ground turkey breast burgers as a healthy alternative to ground beef.
- Create a kabob. You can build an entire balanced meal solely from grilling! Skewer non-starchy vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli and asparagus), meat (shrimp, fish, or chicken), and starchy vegetables (potato, corn and rutabaga) to create fun kabobs for the whole family.
- Better toppings. Hold the high fat cheese or choose 2 percent reduced fat cheese. Top your burger with a few avocado slices, lightly sautéed onions, mushrooms and bell peppers.
- Precook foods. Precook foods in the microwave or oven for 2-5 minutes before grilling to reduce cooking time on the grill. Always cook meats to the proper and safe temperature. Cook ground meat and meat mixtures to 160° F, poultry to 165° F and seafood to 145° F.
- Spread something new. Ketchup, mustard and low fat mayonnaise are not the only options when it comes to flavoring up your burger bun. Smear some hummus, herbed Greek yogurt, tzatziki sauce or artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes for a delicious and health conscious kick!
This summer have some fun experimenting with healthier options for guilt-free grilling. Enjoy!