With summer just around the corner, it’s time to break out the grill! Summer is the perfect season to head outdoors to cook up some of your favorite foods. One of the great things about grilling is that it’s a naturally healthy method of cooking. Grilling allows the fat to drip from the meat, rather than cooking inside it, and of course with grilling, there is no gravy!

There are several ways to ensure your grilled feast is as nutritious as it is delicious. The first is to start with lean meats. Studies show that the leanest cuts of red meat and pork can be as healthful as all white meat chicken. When starting with your traditional favorite cuts, why not try a one of these equally delicious swaps?

  • Try lean pork tenderloin grilled whole or in kebobs as a stand in for ribs.
  • Shop for 93% lean ground turkey breast or 95% lean beef for better burgers.
  • Marinated top sirloin sliced on thin on the grain can replace the old t-bone steak.
  • For a touch of elegance, replace filet mignon with grilled shrimp or scallop kabobs.
  • When shopping, look for the word “loin” on the package. This indicates the meat is lean.

Next give the meat a rub, or a marinade for that matter. Rubs, herbs and marinades can add extra flavor and tenderness to lean meats. Create your own dry rub by simply mixing together your favorite spices, and pat on the meat. Use your favorite low-fat vinaigrette dressing for a great last-minute marinade and you can’t beat a sprinkling of fresh fragrant herbs.

Lastly, don’t forget that grilling isn’t only for meats! Incredible flavor-rich fruits and vegetables are fantastic on the grill. Branch out from the ordinary to grill something special.

  • Grilled peaches and pineapple are delectable when topped with just a whisper of brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Asparagus is amazing when drizzled with nothing more than olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Lightly rub some reduced fat margarine on a sliced banana. Sprinkle it with a packet of sugar substitute and cinnamon just before grilling.

Here is a terrific recipe to get you started.

Marlene Koch

Marlene Koch, RD, (pronounced "Cook") has specialized in delicious food and healthy lifestyles for over twenty years. Thus, when Marlene realized she couldn’t bake a delicious cake without sugar for her stepdaughter newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she set out to find the sweet solution! Marlene is now a foremost authority on sugar and sugar substitutes and the author of the best-selling healthy, low-sugar hardback cookbook series which includes Unbelievable Desserts and Fantastic Food with Splenda, and her newest release, Marlene Koch’s Sensational Splenda Recipes: 375 Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories (M.Evans publisher). With combined sales of over 600,000 copies, Marlene and her books successfully bridge the gap between good food and good health!

Marlene graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in nutrition from U.C.L.A. in 1986 and is one of a select group of dietitians to hold an advanced certificate in Child and Adolescent Weight Management from the American Dietetic Association. Combining her love of food with her educational foundation, she has held such positions as Hospital Foodservice Director, Nutrition Professor, Cooking Instructor for the Columbus State Culinary Academy and as a national nutrition educator to chefs for the American Culinary Federation. Her passion for teaching others how to make healthy food taste delicious also extend to her private nutrition practice specializing in weight loss, diabetes, and wellness.

Marlene loves to teach (and to eat!); her energetic and upbeat style has made her a popular food and nutrition speaker for organizations such as the American Diabetes and American Heart Associations and sought after for television and radio appearances which have included affiliates for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and Shaw TV (Vancouver) and radio stations nationwide.

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