How to Fill a Healthy Barbeque Plate



Adults can avoid cancer-causing agents when they barbecue by using the healthy grilling tips in from the experts at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Summer is a popular season for outdoor grilling,” said Mary Ellen Herndon, an MD Anderson wellness dietitian. “But before you fire up the grill, take the right precautions to make sure you serve healthy barbecue dishes that won’t expose your family to increased cancer risks.”

Research shows that common meats served at barbecues, like hot dogs and hamburgers, can increase colorectal cancer risks. Even some “safer” meats can expose people to cancer-causing agents if they’re cooked improperly.  Herndon suggests using the tips below to give grilling a healthy makeover.

Barbeque Do’s:

• Marinate meat for 30 minutes to reduce heterocyclic amines (HCAs). It damages genes.

• Grill chicken, fish, fruits and veggies.

• Eat no more than 4-6 ounces of beef or pork per meal.

Barbeque Don’ts:

• Burn meat. Charred meat is covered in HCAs.

• Overeat hot dogs. It’s processed meat and can damage DNA.

• Eat more than 18 ounces of red meat per week. Too much red meat can cause colorectal cancer. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 20.

In addition to these healthful tips, select items on this list that fit your target calorie range when grilling. Men should eat 500 calories per meal, and women should eat 400 calories per meal.

• BBQ Pork Spareribs, 3 Ribs or ½ ounce – 134 calories

• Grilled Steak, 6 ounces – 483 calories

• Hamburger, ¼ lb. or 4 ounces – 294 calories

• Chicken Breast, 3 ounces – 251 calories

• Fresh Green Salad (1 cup) with 1 tbsp. Light Ranch Dressing – 48 calories

• Ambrosia Fruit Salad, 1 cup – 135 calories

• German Style Potato Salad, ½ cup – 77 calories

• Coleslaw with Raisins and Low-Calorie Dressing, ½ cup – 71 calories

• Baked Beans, ½ cup – 195 calories

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