Families, friends, and colleagues usually gather around the grill during the holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and even for no particular reason at all. Grilling is cooking food on a rack over a heat source, usually a charcoal fire or ceramic briquettes heated by gas flames and usually at a rapid rate which drastically reduce the time it takes to prepare meals. Grilling is also known for the cooking method used outdoors. For some reason, grilling outside gives people the opportunity to escape the confinement of the kitchen and enjoy the atmosphere outside. Just like any other cooking methods, grilling has its own health benefits as well as health risks.
Compared to frying, food cooked on a grill is significantly lower in fat and calories. This is because when you grill, you eat less fat because the excess drips off the grates, especially when you are cooking meat. Grilling actually preserves more riboflavin and thiamine and both of these nutrients play a vital role in a healthy diet as well as have many health benefits associated with each of them. With vegetables, grilling them retain more of their vitamins and minerals. This is especially true with vegetables that have a low water content. Wrapping them in a tin foil or just placing on top of your grill makes veggies nutritionally advantageous than boiling or frying.
Although foods cooked on a grill are lower in fat and calories, when the high heat of grilling interacts with the proteins in meat products, many potential carcinogens like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed on the meat which pose a significant cancer threat. Moreover, the fat and marinade drip off from the food and onto the charcoal, vaporizes and condenses on the food gives it the smoky taste. However, this smoky taste is somewhat unhealthy because it forms advanced glycation end products which can cause diabetes and heart diseases.
Everything has its pros and cons. Despite these potential risks, no one is suggesting you should stop grilling. There are tips that you can consider for a healthier and safer way to grill your food such as marinating the food before-hand to reduce the formation of any chemicals on the process. Another is using or cooking leaner meats like chicken or pork loin and avoiding overcooking or undercooking the food at any cost. Therefore, use your grill wisely and be safe by taking this information into consideration. Enjoy the moment and happy grilling!
AA VI Cielo Katrina M. Mabalot
1. “Disadvantages of grilling your food” from https://thechefmaker.com/disadvantages-of-grilling-your-food/
2. “Healthy Grilling: Reducing the Risk of Cancer” from https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/grilling-cancer-risk.html
3. “The Advantages & Disadvantages og Grills” from https://www.hunker.com/12566989/the-advantages-disadvantages-of-grills
4. “10 Healthy Tips & Benefits of Grilling” from https://learn.compactappliance.com/health-benefits-of-grilling/