Memorial Day is a time for honoring brave Americans who have sacrificed their lives for our country. It also marks the beginning of the summer season, and therefore, the grilling season. While grilled food is delicious, it can be detrimental to your heart health. It is known that carcinogenic compounds can form in charred meat and smoke, and they can increase the risk of cancer when they are ingested.
However, you can make your Memorial Day celebration healthier by following these grilling tips:
- Use lean meat – Try to remove as much fat as possible from your meats before you cook them.
- Marinate – Choose a low-fat or fat-free marinade that contains very little oil or canola or olive oil. Refrigerate the marinating meat for at least half an hour. When you are grilling, do not use the marinating liquid to baste your food.
- Do not use the highest heat settings – Preheat the grill to medium high and use a lower flame to cook the meat. This will prevent charring and reduce smoke.
- Test the meat – Test the meat with a meat thermometer to prevent food borne illness. Make sure that the meat is handled in a hygienic manner.
- Reduce grilling time – You can do this by grilling smaller portions, precooking the meat, or using skewers. Flipping the meat frequently can also reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds.
- Grill vegetables and fruits – Grilled vegetables and fruits contain no carcinogenic compounds, and they are great complements to your grilled meats.
If you are looking for other recipes for your Memorial Day celebration, check out our free salad and entree cookbook.