Grilling Healthy

20100703cornAre you a grill master?  Every guy I know will push their chest out and state, “Hell Yeah!”  Well, I enjoy lighting up the grill and throwing a nice piece of steak on the grill and grilling it up.  The question is though, is it actually possible to cook healthy food on the grill in order to maintain a diet or to lose weight?  Therefore, I have put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and grabbed my pipe and started to research to provide for you.

Has the thought of grilling fruit ever crossed your mind?  If you said no, don’t feel too bad.  It never crossed my mind either, until I started researching healthy grills.  According to Men’s Health, “Subjecting your pears, strawberries, peaches, or even bananas to the smoky heat of the grill results in a decidedly decadent side dish or dessert that’s every bit as delicious as it is good for you.” You can actually read more about the best fruits for the grill by visiting Men’s Heatlh online.

Grilling healthier is really not a hard habit to get into; just knowing how to tweak it is what can be hard at first.  Plus, knowing certain facts may actually save your life if not save money on future medical expenses.  According to a study that was done by the University of Minnesota, it was concluded that eating charred, well-done meat on a regular basis may actually increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 60%.  As reported by The American Cancer Society, “Heterocyclic amines (HAs) are created by the burning of amino acids and other substances in meats cooked at particularly high temperatures and that are particularly well-done. HAs are turned up in grilled and barbecued meat as well as broiled and pan-fried meat.”

What I found out from the experts was that grilling healthier does not mean you cannot be a grill master.  It just means being cautious about what you place on the grill.  For example: When choosing your meat, try to get the ones that have leaner cuts and try to trim the fat unless it is already done for you.  If you leave the fat on the meat, it will drip causing smoke which may contain carcinogens.  Carcinogens are basically a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.  That is a big no-no in my book!  Therefore, I suggest lining the grill with foil and poke small holes in to allow the fat to still drip, but to control the amount of smoke that can get into your meat.  Another shocker is that the possibility of carcinogens is higher with charcoal or hot coals than propane.

Lastly, it was recommended by that adding colorful vegetables to the grilled meal is good for you, tasty and worry-free.  You see, many of the chemicals that’s created when we grill meat is not created when we are grilling vegetables.  Plus, vegetables are naturally low in fat and only need a short time on the grill to get that grilled flavor.  Red, yellow, and green peppers, yellow squash, mushrooms, red onions, pineapple – all of these veggies grill well and make healthy additions to any plate.

            To wrap up, I would like to include a lovely and tasty recipe that I found on  Trust me on this one, I tested it for you.

Grilled Broccoli Rabe

SD7166Although somewhat unconventional, grilling dark leafy greens like broccoli rabe is a fun way to add subtle smokiness. Here, we bump up the flavor by tossing it with a garlic-rosemary vinaigrette.

Makes: 4 servings, about 2/3 cup each

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water until bright green and barely tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water; drain well.
  3. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic powder, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Grill the broccoli rabe, turning once, until tender and the leaves are just beginning to char, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Toss the broccoli rabe with the reserved dressing.


Per serving: 91 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 183 mg sodium; 231 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (60% daily value), Vitamin C (38% dv), Folate (24% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 2 fat

As always, I would love to hear about your favorite healthy grilled recipes.  And remember, if you are looking for a way to lose weight – than I suggest not only grilling healthier but doing Riofit’s 30-Day Challenge.  You will really slim down.  Enjoy!