Healthy Grilling Tips

June is Men’s Health Month and, coincidentally, the eye of the grilling season – the two seem to fit so well together. Here are some tips to maximize nutritional health while chasing your favorite cut around the hot plate.

Make some marinades from scratch. – Herbs, spices and citrus juices all bring delicious flavors without the sodium or unknown ingredients of packaged products. Those with vinegar and lemon juice work to tenderize meat and work well with tougher cuts. Those with oil or water bases are going to enhance the flavor of your piece of meat.

Give this simple marinade a try: Mix ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 t grated ginger, 2 t honey and 1 T lemon juice with 4 chicken breasts for 2-4 hours then grill.

Choose lean cuts of meat, and rely upon spice rubs to give the flavor you lose from the reduction in fat. Lean meats cook faster and can become dry: Sear them at a high heat to keep the flavor and juices in.

Roast thinly sliced vegetables on the grill and skip the potato or macaroni salad. Brush zucchini, red and yellow peppers and red onion with olive oil and grill briefly – they make a delicious, heart-healthy salad with a vinaigrette dressing and a handful of olives.

Rethink your drink: As the weather heats up, the cooling beverages get more appealing. For your health, stick with the FDA and CDC guidelines of no more than two alcoholic beverages/day for men. Or, try your hand at a soft cocktail! With the availability of distilled, but alcohol-free, bitters and other additional ingredients, you can have a refreshing margarita or paloma without the alcohol, so you can celebrate with a toast – to your health!

Looking for a healthy meal for the grill? Give this Easy BBQ Chicken and Grilled Veggie Salad recipe a try from our Registered Dietitians.