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Load up on veggies and fruit by placing them on kabobs, foil packs or straight on the grill. Peaches drizzled with honey and placed directly on a grill makes for a great low calorie dessert. Memorial Day signifies the unofficial kick off to summer which means to this dietitian grilling delectable foods, late nights watching the Royals and the occasional ice cold Rolling Rock. Summer is a great time to enjoy healthy AND delicious foods to get you ready for summer. Cosentino’s Market has just what you need to get your “grill” on, and do it healthy too.

  • Limit mayo side dishes. An average cup of potato salad carries 358 calories. Instead try using greek yogurt  in place of mayo or a vinaigrette based potato salad.
  • Start with lean cuts: fish, turkey, chicken breasts, round & sirloin steak, pork tenderloin or pork chops.
  • The American Heart Association recommends wine-, fruit- or healthy vegetable oil-based marinades to add flavor and moisture without adding saturated- or trans- fats. Marinate overnight for the best flavor.
  • Use condiments such as BBQ sauce & butter sparingly. Condiments are very sneaky sources of calories as 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce ranges from 20-35 calories and 1 tablespoon of butter has 100 calories.

Grilling recently has been met with mixed reviews due to the link of cancer risk; however, scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that herbs of the Lamiaceae family (basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage) used in marinades reduced HCA formation dramatically. Not only will these herbs increase flavor but they will also help to destroy free radicals that are known to cause cancer.

HCAs and PAHs are formed mostly from fat being heated to extreme temperatures or by the smoke created by fat burning. To reduce the risks follow these basic tips:

  • Trim excess fats from foods or “trim to the rim”. Cosentino’s Market meat department can help you identify leaner cuts of meat.
  • Choose marinades made from olive or canola oil. Even better if you can find ones with those herbs mentioned above: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage
  • Avoid flare-ups. Flare-ups burn foods and this increases HCA formation.
  • Don’t overcook foods. The charred bits on foods are the largest sources of PAHs and HCAs so if you have charred sections of meat cut them off.

Enjoy your grilling out this summer and stay tuned for other articles on summer delectables at Cosentino’s  Markets.