When it comes to grilling food, you get a massive range of options on what you want to make. Meat is a classic of barbecue cookouts with burgers, hotdogs, and steaks being only a few of the most loved options. But nowadays, there are also several types of vegetables and even some fruits that people are experimenting with during grilling.
That being said, there are several parties that are worried about how the grilling process essentially chars the outside of food, and how the grills themselves use some potentially unsafe fuel sources. As such, the overall healthiness of grilling is often questioned.
Thankfully, whether using natural or propane gas vs. charcoal, eating char-grilled food should be done in moderation. There are many more health benefits that often go unknown or unheard of, frequently buried under the debate of whether grilling causes cancer or not.
So to provide you an answer as to why it is healthy – given that you don’t char your food black before eating it – we’ve put together this article for you. Once we’ve convinced you of the healthiness of barbecuing, you can click here to check out a great catalog of grills and grilling accessories.
Vegetables and meat retain their nutrients
The process of barbecuing food often has you using high levels of heat to cook as efficiently and as quickly as possible without charring it. This process makes it so that the outer layers of the food denature, brown, and sear quickly before the heat is transferred to the inside to cook it properly. With the outsides seared, none of the meat or vegetables’ juices can escape unless it’s cut into.
However, many people don’t consider that the same trapping that happens with the food’s juices also happens with its nutrients. When you fry meat or boil vegetables, the heat often isn’t enough that the cells of the food harden and denature before any of the nutrients leak out. This is especially true with veggies with higher water content. As mentioned, with the high heat from using your barbecue instead, no nutrients of juices leak out, resulting in vitamin A and C-rich veggies and meat rich in riboflavin and zinc.
Grilling can help with weight loss
Besides the added benefit of vitamin-rich foods, your grill can actually end up helping you lose more weight while on diet! One of the most well-known facts about barbequing is that your food often gets a smoky taste to it from the smoke created. This smoky taste can be found in any food, improving the taste of many foods that you might not like. When it comes to diets, the improved taste can actually help you eat more vegetables and healthier proteins, which in turn can make you more satisfied and lose more weight.
You go outside more often
When it comes to barbecuing, many people all across Canada and the United States prefer to fire up their grills during warmer days. Though indirect, the process of grilling lets you absorb vitamin D just by that very fact alone. The Sun is noted to be one of the best ways to gain vitamin D and since you often need to stay outdoors while the food’s on the grill, the longer you cook, the higher the vitamin intake is.
And this isn’t only limited to just you as the barbecuer. Many people often make an occasion out of barbecuing, inviting people over to eat together once they’re done barbecuing. Even if it’s just you and your family, simply sitting outside in the Sun and enjoying a meal increases the vitamin intake even more.
There’s even the chance that simply being outside with your family can become outdoor activities and games. With that, you can get the exercise that you have fun doing and get healthier doing.
You use less butter and oil
Other than the little amount of oil you might use to prevent your food from sticking to the grill’s grate, the process of barbecuing actually uses far less butter and oil than expected. Even the fat you might find in some cuts of meat is reduced since most of the fat in the meat drips off before the outer layers sear and harden. The end result is meat that is less fatty and oily but just as delicious.
Even if you take into consideration things like the meat’s juices, not all of it gets reabsorbed back into the meat. Just like frying burgers on a griddle pan inside your kitchen, the fat and excess juices drip away from the meat. On your barbecue, the drippings land on your coals or burners and sizzle away until you’re done cooking. The little fat that remains then simply bastes your meat before you finish off grilling.
Many grilled foods have fewer calories
The amount of fat that some foods have is often one of the reasons that they have much higher calories. Proteins like meat have a specific level of fat in them and, unless you exclusively buy extra lean meat, you can’t get completely rid of it. Even after cooking, there’s still some fat in it.
When it comes to grilling, however, the heat surrounds the cuts of meat completely while cooking. This allows you to not only melt off any fats from your meat and reduce the oil and butter you use for cooking veggies but also remove some of the excess sodium. After all, that high-heat cooking, what’s left is protein and fibers with just the right amount of fats that your body needs to work efficiently.
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Though it can seem unhealthy at first, grilling is actually quite healthier than you may realize at first. Despite all the fat dripping off and the claims of grilling causing cancer, these claims are clearly far from the truth. In fact, grilling actually allows you to eat healthier foods with more vitamins and less fat. With the added smokiness from the cooking process, you can even end up eating more of the healthier food.