Few things can taste as delicious as good barbeque. But just as with heating oils, cooking proteins at high heats can change their nutritional makeup, creating carcinogenic chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). Consumption of AGE’s can accelerate some of the negative signs of aging, such as wrinkled, lined and sagging skin, as well as various systemic diseases.
However, we can still safely barbeque- just follow these 5 tips:
1. Go Free- As in free-range, hormone-free and free of excess fats. Choose lean cuts of meat, ideally from grass fed cattle or lamb, fish and poultry; trim any excess fat from meat and remove skin.
2. Marinate- By marinating and/or basting most foods prior to or during cooking we can cut way back on the AGEs created. Use vinegar, citrus juice, fresh herbs, spices, red wine and olive oil in your marinades because they have antioxidant properties.
3. Clean Grill- Keep your grill clean; remove any build up of charred food
4. Avoid Charring- Avoid charring food; remove any charred areas from food before eating
5. It’s not all about char marks- Try poaching food on the grill. Nothing is more delicious that salmon poached in an aluminum foil packet, whether in the oven or on the grill.
For some healthy grilling foods, click here.
Enjoy a safe and healthy 4th of July!