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Grilling: The Do’s and Don’ts

By Amanda Wilkes:

For me there is nothing better than a BBQ by the pool on a Sunday afternoon. As it became a more regular activity, I began feeling quite guilty about what I was putting into my body. So I started researching the harmful effects that barbecuing can have on health. Even though it tastes great, the secret behind that cancer-causing charred flavor is not so great after all.  Although I  am happy to be knowledgeable, I am a bit depressed to know that I will have to make some changes.  I wasn’t ready to give up my Sunday tradition altogether, so I explored a few of the healthier techniques to barbecuing.

-Use gas, propane, or electric grills

Using wood or charcoal can release particles into the air or food that can become lodged in the throat or lungs. Charcoal will also release toxins directly into the delectable meat that you are about to eat.

-Use lean cuts of meat (preferably grass-fed beef and free-range chickens)

They produce less carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heterocyclic amines (HCA), which cause lung and heart problems.

-Use tofu or veggie burgers

They produce little to no carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines (HCA), which cause lung and heart problems. 

-Thaw meat and poultry before cooking it 

This way there is no overexposure to the outside, while the inside is still frozen. 

Use alcohol, olive oil, lemon, or garlic to avoid charring

Char causes cancer. Remove any char before consuming.

-Do not cook directly on coals

Move rack away from coals to reduce HCA levels.

As for me, I enjoy a good veggie burger; and if that is my healthiest choice, then that is the one I am going to make. Instead of chips, I will make my own kale chips. Instead of fries, I will make sweet potatoes fries. The Sunday menu may change a bit, but it will be equally delicious! The good news is that, with these helpful tips, I may be able to enjoy a couple more years of Sunday Fundays! For more healthy barbecuing tips visit this web site.


About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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