Summertime means warmer weather, days spent at the beach, evenings next to bonfires looking at the stars and the ever popular grilling out in the back yard. There’s nothing quite like burgers and dogs cooked over the open flame on a warm summer evening, eating them in the great outdoors on a picnic table with friends and family. I mean aren’t these the days we spent the long winter dreaming about? The smell of charcoals burning, the sun setting for what seems like a beautiful eternity and the excitement of collecting fireflies after a healthy and filling family meal is exactly what the doctor called for after spending your winter indoors. Outside of the pleasure and relaxation of grilling, there are also many health benefits to this great American pastime.
When you use a grill to cook your food, there is a great chance you are eating a lot less fat than you would if you were roasting or sautéing your food. Most people know this aspect already, but it’s the why that isn’t so wide spread. On the grill, as the food heats up and the fat starts cooking off, the fat drips onto the coals or burners on your grill. This usually leads to creating more smoke, which incorporates that classic grill flavor into the foods we are eating. When roasting or sautéing, these drippings have nowhere to go but back into the pan, which leads to more fat in the pan for your food to reabsorb and thusly making your food even more fatty than before.
Grilled foods tend to retain more nutrients than other methods of cooking. When it comes to vegetables, almost all of them are damaged through the heating process, so the goal is to use a method
that is the least damaging to them. Water soluble vegetables are the most vulnerable to nutrient loss through cooking, and the worst method to cook these is boiling, as the nutrients are lost through water contact. Grilling limits the amount of nutrient loss through not using water. Another aspect of health when grilling vegetables is that there is a greater chance that you are using fresh, in season vegetables instead of canned or frozen ones. Now when it comes to meats on the grill, outside of the wonderful smoky flavor that’s incorporated into them from the grill, they too retain nutrients. The grill helps meat retain more ribo