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5 Things: Marinate for Your Health

BBQ season is upon us and while grilling is an easy and low fat way to cook food (compared to sautéing in oil or butter). Here are five things I thought you might want to know about the whys and hows of marinating.

  1. Marinating meat, fish and poultry significantly decreases the amount of carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) produced when the meat is cooked at high temperatures, like in grilling. Marinades can reduces the HCAs by as much as 99 percent.
  2. Marinades may slow the growth of harmful bacteria, like listeria.
  3. Marinating meat with naturally acidic ingredients, like vinegar or citrus juices, tenderizes the meat, breaking down the proteins making the meat easier to digest. Plus it helps lock in the moisture so the meat won't dry out and toughen up.
  4. To keep the calorie count down, only use one-half cup of marinade to every pound of meat. This will be enough to coat the meat, but cuts down on excess.
  5. Never marinate meat at room temperature. Although marinade can slow the growth of harmful bacteria, it cannot stop them completely, so marinate your meat in the fridge.

Have fun grilling!


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Acidic or really sweet marinades will definitely reduce the amount of bacteria that grow in the meat, but you should still keep your meat refrigerated while you marinate it. One thing though...if you're using a very acidic marinade containing lots of vinegar or wine or lemon/lime juice, don't marinate it too long or the marinade will alter the protein in the meat and "cook" it before you get it on the grill
kia kia 9 years
I am starting to really get into the art of marinade. It is good to know that it reduces those HCAs.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Great, I always do these.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
We're BBQing Monday! Can't wait! I'm more of a dry rub BBQ person myself, I have this special seasoning that is AMAZING on EVERYTHING! I get so many people hooked on it haha so I'm just going to grill tri tip and chicken using that YUM
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
mmmm I want that slab of meat!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
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