Just in Time for Spring: 5 Heart-Smart Grilling Secrets

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: General Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

GRILLED CHickenFor us, springtime in New England means a chance to enjoy outdoor cooking after a long, cold, wet winter. No one enjoys sidling up to the grill to feed friends and family on the patio more than my wife Jan and I do.  But as you get ready to pull out the grill, you want to make sure what you’re cooking up is safe for your heart.

Here are some of my top grilling tips:

1. Select Your Meats Carefully: Some of the best heart-healthy choices are beef, bison, and lamb.  Instead of buying fatty hamburger meat, I have the butcher grind up free range, top round steak into burger meat.  Some places sell a good lean ground round, but avoid the fat when making your selection.

2. Look for 90-95% Lean on the Label: Before grilling that steak or lamb, we trim all the visible fat away.

3. For a Healthy Meat/Veggie Mix, Try Kabobs: Kabobs are fun and flavor-packed.  Mix beef, buffalo, or lamb speared with chunks of onions, tomatoes, and zucchini.

4. Grill Up Heart-Healthy Fish: Our favorites are wild Alaskan salmon , Atlantic halibut ,  or haddock. (Larger fish, such as tuna, sword, and shark, can be laden with mercury).

5. If you Grill Up Chicken, Eat it Skinless: Keeping the skin on during grilling, protects the chicken from carcinogens during grilling.  But once you grill it, take the skin off before you eat it.

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