Grilling is a delightful and flavorful cooking method that can be enjoyed year-round, even in colder weather. Whether you’re gathering with friends for outdoor cooking in the summer or tailgating at games during the fall and winter, the joy of grilling is undeniable.

What makes it even better is that grilling can be a healthy way to prepare your meals. To ensure you’re making the most of this cooking method, consider the following ten tips for healthy grilling and barbecuing:

  • Choose the Right Protein: Opt for healthier protein choices such as fish, skinless chicken breast, and lean ground poultry. The beneficial fats found in fish like salmon and trout offer health advantages. If you do choose red meat, select “loin” or “round” cuts and “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime.”
  • Control Portion Sizes: Aim for a healthy portion size of around 3 ounces of meat, about the size of a deck of cards, and never exceed 6 ounces. Remember, your plate will also feature delicious grilled veggies and side dishes.
  • Marinate or Rub: Enhance flavor and reduce the need for excessive salt by marinating or rubbing spices on poultry, fish, and meat. Use approximately ½ cup of marinade or 1 tablespoon of spice rub for each pound of food.
  • Add Color: Grill a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, either alone or in kebabs, to add flavor and appeal. Ensure even cooking by cutting them into pieces that cook quickly and brush with a healthy oil to prevent sticking.
  • Trim Excess Fat: Choose skinless poultry or remove the skin before cooking. Trim visible fat from meat, brush or marinate with healthy cooking oil, and let excess fat drip away from the food as it cooks.
  • Avoid Heavy Sauces: Allow the simple grilled flavors to shine by minimizing the use of salty sauces, sugary condiments, or heavy dressings. Consider making your own healthier condiments.
  • Opt for Healthier Sides: Substitute traditional store-bought barbecue sides, which may contain saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, with healthier homemade versions. Alternatively, choose colorful bean salads, fruit salads, or leafy green salads.
  • Choose Whole Grain Buns: Complement your healthy feast with extra fiber, flavor, and texture by opting for whole-grain buns and bread. If watching calories and carbs, consider an open-faced burger or lettuce wrap.
  • Grill Fruits for Dessert: Take advantage of natural sugars caramelizing under high heat by grilling fruits for dessert. Try sliced apple, pear, pineapple, or halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches, or plums.
  • Keep it Clean: Regularly scrub down the grill rack or pan after each use to prevent burning, smoking, and bitter flavors caused by leftover burnt food.

By incorporating these tips, you can enjoy the pleasures of grilling while prioritizing your health.


Dr. Bobish

Dr. Bobish and her team’s goal is to help you reduce your risk of heart disease. Helping you to understand your risk factors and make healthful lifestyle changes.

Remember regardless of age or current state of health it is never too late to start protecting your heart. It is also never too soon and the sooner you act the better. Follow us on Facebook to see our latest post helping to keep you heart healthy. You can also explore all our articles that offer diet and exercise tips, recipes and information on procedures and heart disease.

Dr. Bobish and her team focus on preventative care and are here to support you. Alpine Cardiology provides patients with education as well as compassionate care and treatment. We are committed to keeping you healthy and heart smart! Request an appointment at 989-448-7002