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Low Fat Grilling: Myth or Method?

Low Fat Grilling Myth or Method

A low fat diet has become an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Because grilling allows fatty juices to drip away from foods, it is a top cooking method for many people.

​But simply cooking food on a grill does not guarantee a low fat meal. There are three important tips to follow to get the most out of your grill's potential as a tool in the quest for a low fat diet.

​Foods that are cooked in an oven or fry pan typically sit in their own juices as they cook. While this can add flavor, it also allows those foods to soak up fat from the juices. Grilling helps maintain a delicious flavor while allowing fatty juices to drain away from the food. But for true low fat meals, you need to start with low fat foods.

​Get a Good Start

​Foods like chicken breasts and fish have less fat than steaks and ribs to begin with. And veggies and fruit are even better. If you decide to grill BBQ ribs, they will likely be lower in fat than if cooked in the oven, but they will not be as healthy for you as grilled salmon, shish kabobs, or other low fat choices.

​Grilling doesn't reduce the original fat level of foods, so it's important to start with foods that are naturally low fat.

​Pay Attention to Your Preparation

​Secondly, how we prepare our foods for grilling plays a big part in determining their fat content. If you coat them in barbeque sauce, oils, or marinades made from fatty ingredients, you cancel out the health benefits achieved by grilling.

​Most grocery stores offer several choices of marinades and rubs with low fat ingredients such as soy sauce, fruit juices and vinaigrettes. Instead of coating foods with oils or butter, use a cooking spray on the grill grate to help keep foods from sticking.

​Skip the Sauce

​Lastly, what you do to your food once it's cooked has a big impact on the fat content. So many people pay additional money for extra lean beef and then top their hamburgers with cheese, mayonnaise, or other high fat choices.

​If done correctly, grilling keeps foods moist and brings out delicious flavors, so it's not necessary to add things to make foods taste better. If you must use sauces and toppings for your grilled food, try low fat salad dressings such as ranch or sweet onion.

​Striving for a healthier, low fat diet is sensible, and eating grilled foods is an ideal way to cut down on your fat intake. But it is important to select foods with low fat content and then use common sense and restraint when preparing them for grilling or adding toppings to finished foods.