August 21, 2023 Healthy Living

Healthier Grilling: Quick Tips and Simple Suggestions for Delicious Barbecue

While August may be winding down, there’s plenty of summer and grilling season left to go! So, fill up that propane tank one more time and discover some of these better-for-you barbecue ideas and tips.

Get picky about protein

While hot dogs and hamburgers are grilling staples, opting for lean, unprocessed proteins is the way to go. Boneless chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, ground turkey, 93% lean ground beef, and even firm tempeh are good options. Bone-in chicken is also a great choice for the grill but be sure to remove the skin and cook via indirect heat. When it comes time to eat, forego those calorie-rich dips and sauces. Instead, add flavor before you cook with DIY marinades made from juice, spices, and vinegars.

Get schooled in seafood

There are many benefits to cooking fresh seafood on the grill. The first of which is speedy cooking times! Shellfish, such as shrimp, can cook in just 5-7 minutes. Seafood also offers a range of nutrients, notably the omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you’re cooking with the skin on or off, you’ll want to take time to oil your fish to prevent sticking. You can also make a tinfoil tray, use a grill basket, or lay fish on top of fresh lemon slices. Seafood should be cooked at a high temperature (400-450 degrees). Including seafood in your weekly grill rotation is good for your health!

Look for these options at your local market:

  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Salmon burgers
  • Snapper
  • Swordfish
  • Tilapia

Get in your greens

Vegetables on the grill are an absolute delight! Cooking vegetables over an open flame gives them a delicious charred and smoky flavor. Vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways on the grill – whole, cut lengthwise, kabob-style, or tossed in a grill basket. As long as they aren’t falling through the grill grates or cut too thin (which would make them overcook quickly), cooking vegetables isn’t much different than cooking proteins. However, some vegetables may take longer than others to tenderize and cook-through.

Great picks for the grill:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Green or yellow squash (also known as zucchini)
  • Mushrooms (all types)
  • Onions
  • Peppers (all colors)
CDPHP Health Hub

Looking for more healthy ideas?
Get personalized nutritional guidance and browse healthy, delicious recipes in the CDPHP Health Hub, powered by Virgin Pulse. To get started, sign into the CDPHP Health Hub, choose the Health tab, then select Nutrition Guide.

Sarah Palmer
About the Author

Sarah joined CDPHP® in 2021 as a team engagement and communications specialist. Sarah brings with her ten years of experience in retail and hospitality, with a focus on digital marketing and internal relations. She attended the State University of New York College at Oneonta, where she earned her BS in Communication Studies. Sarah lives in the Capital Region with her husband and two young daughters. She enjoys cooking, DIY projects, family trips to the park, and spending time at her family's camp in the summer.

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