Matt Goulding: 'Grill This, Not That'

Backyard BBQs can be a perfect place to strip pounds from your body. “A grill is the place where you can make healthy foods even healthier,” says Matt.  When we grill a piece of meat, much of the fat bubbles out and burns up on the coals below. A study in Meat Science found that grilling a pork chop can actually decrease the fat content by nearly a third. Other research shows that grilling is better than frying, baking and microwaving. 

We can control calories by grilling at home, but the same is not necessarily true when eating out.  Most restaurant grills are flat metal that lock in fat instead of cooking it out.  In addition restaurants many times paint their meats with hot oil and butter.  Matt says by grilling at home we can lose more than 18 pounds off our bellies, build lean muscle, lower our risk for heart disease and save money!

Some of the best and worst grilled foods are:
Grill this: Teriyaki Dogs with Grilled Pineapple: (page 98) 270 calories, 9 g fat, 880 mg sodium
Not that: Five Guys' Bacon Cheese Dog (page 7) calories: 695 calories, 48 g fat, 1,700 mg of sodium
Grill this:  Cowboy Burgers (page 90) 460 calories, 22 g fat, 850 mg sodium
Not that: Chili's Smokehouse Burger with Ancho Chili BBQ (page 19) 2,290 calories, 139 g fat, 6,500 mg sodium
Grill this: The Perfect Grilled Steak (page 168) 230 calories, 7 mg fat, 620 mg sodium
Not that: Ruby Tuesday's Rib Eye Steak (page 11) calories: 912 calories, 71 g fat, 1,040 mg of sodium
Grill this:  Grilled Steak Fajitas (page 180) calories: 430; 16 g fat, 810 mg sodium
Not that:  Applebee’s Sizzling Steak Fajitas (page 16) calories: 1,410, 55 g fat, 5,630 mg sodium

Grilling is a healthier cooking method, but it’s not without hazards.  These are 3 of the biggest concerns that come with cooking over an open fire:

  1. Heterocyclicamines (HCAs).  They are carcinogens that develop when creatine, sugars and amino acids in meat react to the grill’s high temperatures.  They are linked with cancer development in animals.  To reduce the risk of developing HCAs in your grilled food, Matt says to add antioxidant-rich spices like rosemary to beef patties.  Also turn down the heat since burned meat contains higher concentrations of HCAs.
  2. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs).  These are toxic compounds that develop when animal proteins are heated at high temperatures.  They can increase oxidative stress and have been linked to diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Matt says that studies show that by marinating meat in lemon juice or vinegar for an hour before cooking cuts AGE production in half.
  3. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  These are carcinogens that form when fat drippings burn at the bottom of the grill.  The burnt fat produces PAH-rich smoke which penetrates the food on the grill.  Matt says to simply cut the fat off the meat or choose a cut with less fat marbled within the meat.  Also use propane rather than charcoal to limit PHA exposure since charcoal grilling produces more smoke.

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