Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grilling Without Getting Fat

Hello everyone!

It's summer, which is grill season.  A big fear a lot of dieters have when it comes to going to barbecues is that eating at one will make them gain weight and hinder their weight loss efforts. 

I found an article that gives 10 tips on how to grill healthier. 

"Healthy Grilling Tip #1: Don't fear red meat

In 2010 a study in the New England Journal of medicine found that the most effective diet to lose weight is a diet that is high in protein and low in carbs.  Another plus about protein is that since your body takes longer to digest it, you stay fuller longer than if you were to have eaten carbs.  When grilling, choose leaner cuts of beef like flank or other lean cuts. 

Healthy Grilling Tip  #2: Switch to whole grain buns

3A study in 2008 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that diets high in whole grains result in lower body fat than diets high in refined grain.  

Healthy Grilling Tip #3: Add spice

For fat loss, the best spices are chili and cayenne pepper. In 2011, the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition found that capsaicin (what gives peppers their spice) helped weight loss in overweight rats.   It has also been seen to reduce appetite, raise metabolism and reduce inflammation.

Healthy Grilling Tip #4: Upgrade your barbecue sauce

Americans on average eat way too much sugar- on average, 22 teaspoons a day. When it comes to your barbecue sauce, be careful.  Kraft original gets 80% of its calories from sugar.  Look for sauces with no added sugar, or one that does not have sugar as one of its first ingredients.  A lower sugar option- Stubb's Original. 

Healthy Grilling Tip  #5: Toss fish on the grill

A 2011 Turkish study found that grilled fish has the highest levels of protein compared to fried, baked, or microwaved fish.  Avoid the fish that is already wrapped and go to the fish counter.  The fish will be fresher and better tasting.

Healthy Grilling Tip #6: Read meat nutrition labels

Until recently, it was not required to show nutrition information on meat.  Recently, the USDA made a law requiring grocers to show nutrition information on 40 common meat cuts, including poultry and ground meats.  Before choosing meat for grilling, give the labels a look to see if they're something you want to be eating.

Healthy Grilling Tip #7: Marinate

If you don't use spices, use marinades. They make cheaper, tougher meats more tender and allow them to be more flavorful like more expensive meats.  Also, research from the Food Science Institute of Kansas State University found that the polyphenols in marinades reduced cancer causing levels in grilled food by 88 percent.

Healthy Grilling Tip #8: Trim fat

By trimming even a little fat off of steak, you can get rid of 100 calories and 16 grams of fat.  Also, your risk of cancer will decrease.  Carcinogens get on the food when excess fat drips into the coals and makes the black smoke that contains them.

Healthy Grilling Tip #9: Fire up your produce

It's well known that higher fruit and vegetable intake usually results in healthier weight, but most people think grilling is for meat only.  Try grilling veggies like asparagus, eggplant, and Brussels sprouts.  Leafy greens can also be grilled.

Healthy Grilling Tip #10: Give your fast-food favorites a healthy makeover

Get creative.  If you have a fast food burger that you like, try making a healthier version at home.  Here's the article's author's example. :
Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger
740 calories
34 g fat (14 g saturated)
1,500 mg sodium
And now, our version:
Grill This, Not That! Cowboy Burger
460 calories
22 g fat (11 g saturated)
850 mg sodium
This burger saves calories right off the bat by switching from traditional fast-food beef to lean ground sirloin or bison, and to kick up the flavor, we rub it down with coffee and chili powder. Instead of onion rings we used fried onions, and that allows us to keep the cheese and bacon while still cutting nearly 300 calories. Trust me, it's way better than anything that comes from a drive-thru window."

So if you are trying to lose weight, don't fear the grill!

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