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Grilled Foods – Tasty… but healthy?


Among the various forms of cooking, grilling is gaining a lot of popularity and attention these days. It could be because of the wonderful smoky flavour it imparts to the food or for reasons that it is perceived as a really cool way to hang out with friends and socialize.

Taste apart, what needs to be noted is that, does the way you cook food affect its nutritional value?

The pros and cons of the grilling method

Compared to other methods of cooking, grilling is considered to be a healthier option, primarily because of the usage of less fat or oil, which translates to lesser calories. In addition to that, in the case of meats, the excess fats melt and drip off during the grilling process, making it a better alternative.

While grilling may be a healthier option to cook food, there are a few concerns about the process.

  • Close to 40% of Vitamin B may be lost when the nutrient rich juices drip from the meat and vegetables.
  • Hetero-cyclic Amines and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons- These form when the meat is cooked over a high flame or on a high temperature grill. The protein rich juices and fat from the meat drip onto the hot coals. The smoke that arises contains HCAs and PAHs and they settle on the surface of the grilled food. Consuming this kind of food may cause DNA mutation and lead to the development of certain kinds of cancers.

Enjoy your grilled foods safely

In order to eliminate these toxins, you can select lean meats, marinate them well before cooking, and grill at a lower temperature for a longer time. It is important to not overcook the foods as it may lead to loss of nutrients and vitamins.

Conclusion

While we all like to enjoy a plate of good food made better with great company, it is also very important to keep a close eye on the preparation. Nutritious food, prepared in a healthier form of cooking, will fortify your body.

There is a popular saying in Tamil – Unave Marundhu”, which roughly translates to, food is the first and best medicine.

Nurture your body with good food and it will take good care of you your entire lifetime!

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