Grab the tongs, put on the chef's apron and fire up the grill. Warm weather sets picnic fever in motion and according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association, 4 out of 5 American households will be polishing up the backyard grill for the season.
If you plan to grill out on Memorial Day you're not alone: the May holiday is one of the top grilling days, though many Americans do grill year round. Whether for a family gathering, a beach party or an informal backyard soiree, we love to grill and these are America's favorites: hamburgers, steak, chicken, hot dogs and ribs.
And all that grilled meat, say AICR experts, may be a problem.
When meat, poultry and fish are cooked with high temperatures – especially when well-done or charred – two cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) form. These substances can damage DNA and may increase risk for colon cancer.
Keep in mind that too much red meat (more than 18 oz. per week) and any amount of processed meat, such as hot dogs, are factors that increase colorectal cancer risk on their own, so grilling and eating big portions of these foods may mean added risk. The good news: there are ways to celebrate the backyard barbecue and with a few simple strategies, be a little healthier.
Another way to heat it up is with this Grilled Ginger Tuna recipe – perfect with grilled fruit on the side.
(adapted from the New American Plate Cookbook)
Prepare barbecue grill to medium-high.
Cut tuna into 16 equally-sized cubes and place them in a bowl. Add canola oil and toss fish to coat. Add ginger, jalapeno or red pepper flakes, salt, pepper to taste and lime juice. Toss and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
Divide tuna cubes evenly among 4 skewers. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, turning frequently, using tongs. Fish is done when it is just cooked through and no longer pink on inside.
Serve immediately, with fruit or salsa.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 134 calories, 2 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 0 g. carbohydrate,
27 g. protein, 0 g. dietary fiber, 187 mg. sodium.
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