Gentlemen (and ladies): Fire up your grills! Whether you are a seasoned veteran of many cook-outs or just learning how to barbecue like a pro, here are a few tips to help you keep your meals lean and healthy so family members and friends will come back for more.

Don’t be afraid to marinade.
Marinating meats not only adds great flavor, but also can help reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines, substances that could potentially increase the risk of cancer.

Smaller is better.
Portioning meat into smaller cubes or slices can speed up cook time so they have less chance of charring.

Get the temperature right.
The ideal temperatures are 165 degrees for ground poultry, 160 degrees for ground red meats and fresh pork, and 145 degrees for red meat steaks or chops.

Turn down the heat.
Keep the heat down with a low flame to reduce the chances of burning or charring.

Take it off.
Remove any visible fat on meat to reduce flare-ups. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, another potential cancer-causing substance, come from smoke that forms when fat drips from meat onto the grill. 

Don’t always think meat.
Vegetables are great grilled, especially onions, corn on the cob, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and asparagus, as well as apples, pears, peaches and bananas. 

Save time and pre-cook.
Reduce the amount of time on the grill by partially cooking meat in the microwave. Be sure to put the partially cooked meat straight onto the grill to finish cooking. 

Keep it clean.
Scrub the grill with a brush before and after grilling.

It’s not just what you grill, but how you grill it that can help make foods healthy, flavorful and safe. For more healthy grilling tips, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Photo credit: Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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