Healthy barbecues

Always be mindful about barbecues and particularly coming into the summer months, but how healthy is barbecued food?

Meats that are barbecued rather than grilled, can be carcinogenic. As a family we tend to work round barbecues by introducing more healthy ways of cooking such foods. I have avoided for many years now processed meats that can contribute to cancer, but anything you eat that is processed can contribute to these health problems too.

Which foods should you barbecue?

If barbecuing meat products, make sure you stick to skinless chicken and try to limit the usual meats for barbecue such as beef, pork and lamb. Perhaps grill fish instead.

As a rule of thought away from the barbecue, you should avoid all processed meats such as salami, hot dogs, pastrami, ham and bacon, as once these meats are preserved, they contain cancer-forming substances, which can be a contributing factor of colorectal cancer, as confirmed by the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Other helpful tips you may find useful:

  • Use a marinade on meat products because this makes barbecued food less carcinogenic;
  • It is always preferable to eat lean cuts of meat and take off any fat before barbecuing;
  • Another good tip is to lower the temperature on the barbecue by spreading the coals thinly or put the grill rack on bricks;
  • Lightly oil the barbecue so that the meat or chicken has less chance to stick to the grill;
  • Instead of starting on the barbecue, grill meat on the cooker first; then finish on the barbecue. That way what you cook is less exposed to any harmful chemicals.

We tend to grill bananas under the grill and roast vegetables with a little bit of dill and thyme. Lastly always make sure you finish off any barbecue by cleaning the grill thoroughly.


13 Jun, 2011

6 thoughts on “Healthy barbecues

  1. That is all sound advice and I do wonder how much damage we have done when we have eaten barbequed food.

    We used to barbeque a lot more than we do now. I am pleased that we grill rather than charcoal when we do.

    The best advice I think is to part cook the food beforehand and then just to finish it off on the barbeque. That way it hardly takes any time to cook and you still get the great barbeque smell and taste.

    This is an important change in the way we eat and thanks for posting it.

    1. I think there will be a lot of us out there who have eat barbequed food, without grilling, which is probably what a lot of us did when we were younger.

      Now there seems to be more emphasis on eating more healthy and the same goes for food we barbeque. I agree with you that changing the way we eat barbeque food is important.

  2. Good tips here.

    I should pass them on to my brother who barbeque’s year round. I know processed foods are not necessarily good for you.

    My brother eats far too much of them. It will catch up with him one day, but to each his own.

  3. My first husband and I used to grill year round but now I hardly grill at all. It’s only on special occasions that we do.

    I don’t fry meats and other foods. I either boil, bake, broil foods or steam them. I think they taste better this way.

    1. I totally agree Lisa. I think we get used to the way we cook… and over a period of time we do find alternative ways to cook and/or barbeque.

      There are more healthy ways, which in the longer term are better for us, some of which you suggest.

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