Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Healthy Grilling/Smoking

Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
edited 4:12AM in EggHead Forum
Now that the furor over that knucklehead professor is over, I'd like to start putting together some information (text and recipes) about healthy grilling. What are the health concerns you have that might be worth while including? [p]I have high cholesterol. I want to see if there are foods or ways or preparing food that might help with that.[p]Others might be looking for low sugar or low salt alternatives. Others might be concerned about carcinogens. Others might be looking for low calorie alternatives. Let me know what aspects of healthy grilling/smoking need to be addressed and I'll spend a few months researching and accumulating. Of course, if you have healthy recipes or text or links you'd like to share, I'd love to have them.[p]Wise "Collector of all things not tied down" One


  • Wise One,[p] For me, low carb and low fat. Not all the time, but that is how I try to cook 6 nights a week. Not necessarily NO carb but low carbs (bad carbs), alot of lean protein and good fresh veggies with minimally processed foods and additives. Kinda like the South Beach thing.
  • Wise One,[p]can't really provide you recipes, per se, but can say that a proven cholesterol reducer is green and black tea. i'm not saying you have to use it in your food, but i would highly recommend drinking at least 3 cups a day of it. i eat like an absolute pig, and mostly fatty red meat and bacon,etc, yet my cholesterol is only 157. i credit it solely to the 6+ cups of green/black tea i have each day.[p]also, if your blood sugar is high, you may want to stir a cinnamon stick in with that tea. cinnamon is a proven way to get reduce the blood sugar in your body, especially as we get older and become more insulin-resistent (aka, "Type 2 Diabetes, aka "Adult onset diabetes"). cinnamon acts to help your body's cells absorb the sugar you've eaten, which is what insulin normally would do but b/c of aging, etc, starts not doing it so well. [p]that's my two cents...
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Do you check your sugar very often? What was it before and after cinnamon?
    They make cinnamon pills as well. I have been thinking about giving them a shot.[p]Mike

  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Well I've been trying to eat more Lean Cuisines, but I can't figure out how to keep the plastic tray from catching on fire. They don't T-Rex very well..[p]:)[p]Seriously though - I know that we go on & on about making salmon with all that butter, but some of the best salmon I've ever eaten had nothing more than salt & pepper on it.[p]Brent is a bit of a hard sell on the healthy stuff. He'll eat it, but then he wants to add his own touch - like Lean Cuisine chicken carbonara - with 3 pieces of cheese added to it.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,552
    Wise One,
    grilling and smoking food is a low stress event, gotta be healthy for you : ) a few years ago the whole shop here did the medicals and all the finger pointing stopped, the heavy drinking fat eating slobs had the best cholesterol counts, the nondrinking low fat crowd had the opposite. one vegatarian was off the charts, mid 300 levels of cholesterol, triglicerides well past 2000, drugs and occasional cheeseburgers have him settled down, at first they had him sit down with a nutritionist and was told he would have to change his diet, then they didnt know what to do when they found out what he was eating. his diet was "healthier" than their proposed one. how much heathier can yu get with a low stress hobby like this

  • GandolfGandolf Posts: 882
    Wise One,[p]I'm with Lizard Dragger on this, looking for low carb - low fat. Thanks for doing this.[p]Dave

  • Car Wash Mike,[p]my blood sugar was at 100 (resting), so it i classified as "pre-diabetic." this compltely freaked me out, so i've been doing ALOT of research on it, and that's where i found out about cinnamon. i've only been on it about a week, and it takes about a month to see any real difference. i'll report back then, and let you know how it goes.[p]as for the pills, they seem to be too much cinnamon all at once. moreover, many of the pills are made from ground up cinnamon, which is bad b/c that includes the fat-soluable and water-soluable derivates. the blood-sugar-reducing properties are ALL in the water-soluable derivaties, so it's much healthier to just soak a cinnamon stick in water to extract those.[p]the fat-soluable portions can be quite toxic, especially to those with liver and kidney problems. the fat-soluable derivaties contain a compound known as "coumarin," which has been banned as a food additive since the early 70's. in high doses, it can lead to liver failure (with early warning signs being jaundice). the only good news is that if you stop the courmarin, the damage to the liver will eventually heal.[p]b/c the pills are usually made with the entire group up cinnamon stick, you are getting both the wanted (i.e., water-soluable) and the unwanted (fat soluable, aka "coumarin") effects. i'd therefore avoid pills.[p]there's lots of info on it on the internet. you may want to try stirring a cinnamon stick in your tea or hot water for a few weeks, and see what your blood sugar is then. [p]good luck, and stay healthy!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,552
    Wise One,
    hey i think this one would be considered heathy if the proportions were right, whodathunk i had one

  • mr toadmr toad Posts: 668
    Wise One,[p]excellent topic - for alyce and i - little salt - almost no processed meats and little red meat - we are of the "eat more chicken" society - in addition walking is important for us - and try to keep dripping from the meat from falling into fire - [p]rdeal[p]
    In dog Beers - I have had only one !
  • Wise One,
    Low carb, which should not be too hard! Need a good sub for brown sugar.[p]Gwen

  • fishlessman,[p]I'm a firm believer of that 'eating for your body type' thing. Different foods affect different people differently.[p]Gwen
  • GeorgieGeorgie Posts: 51
    Wise One,
    I did a little bit of reading on the internet about reducing cancer risk while grilling. From what I saw it appears there are 2 factors in grilling that cause carcinogens in the food. [p]1) meat cooked at very high temperatures - those who eat their food rare or medium were at less risk than those who eat their meat well done. So the tip for that is to pull the meat off sooner or use methods that keep the temps low. Also, the carcinogens are most highly concentrated in the burned crusty (i.e., delicious) parts of the meat so it is best to take those off if you have that much self-discipline. [p]2) Fat dripping directly onto hot coals produces smoke that contains carcinogens which then rise up and enter the meat. To avoid that, cut excess fat off of meat before throwing it on the fire and use indirect cooking methods so drippings don't land on the coals (hence, don't produce the smoke).[p]Obviously, fattier meats/animals produce greater risks than less fatty meats/animals and veggies are safe.[p]Just a quick synopsis of what I saw online - hope it is helpful!

  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Wise One,
    It would be good to have some new low fat, low carb, low sugar, recipes; especially as colder weather arrives and comfort food abounds. Agave' Nector is one of the best sugar substutes. All natural, and very low on the glycemic index. It's a shame vegi's will be harder to come by as the future months roll in. Seafood recipes are always welcome at my house!

  • Wise One,[p]I've always been _fascinated_ by all the "heart healthy" and "low fat" recipes that violate the guidelines for daily sodium intake. So if you can actually find items that average less than 1.5 milligram of sodium per calorie and don't taste like cardboard, I'm interested![p]Tom

  • Wise One,[p]I enjoyed our brief discussion in Atlanta. It was nice putting a handle and face together.[p]I am interested in low calorie items and ones for diabetics. I think I have several "healthy" grilling cookbooks in my collection. Let me know if you want the titles. I need to start trying some of them![p]Thank you for taking the time to pull all of the past cookbooks together. I will be downloading the Living Cookbook from the NW website later this week (when I can find the time) based on many positive comments from Richard in Florida and others.[p]Smoke Diver
  • Wise One,
    I have an interesting link about the benifits of grass feeding. (The animal not you)
    I think low and slow on the egg would be a perfect combination with these products.

  • awesome idea wise one. for your high cholesterol try substituting the dizzy rubs with oatmeal. steady oatmeal consumption is supposed to lower your cholesterol levels by as much as 20 percent. [p]wish i could be more help with your endeavor.
    good luck and good eggin,

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    Hi Birthday Buddy![p]What I'd like to see isn't necessarily low "this" or "that", but I'd love to see the recipes put through a program that gives Nutritional Information at the bottom of each one. Calories, Fat, Fiber, Cholesterol, Sodium, Sugar, Protein, and Carbs as a minimum, but would welcome any further detail that could be included such as vitamins, minerals, and % of saturated fat or trans fat.[p]Eating healthy doesn't have to mean low "anything". Having what I want in the correct portions and in moderation allows me to enjoy whatever I want, so I don't feel deprived.[p]Obviously, if a doctor has said to someone "you need to reduce XXX", that's much different, and so recipes that target reducing XXX would be beneficial. [p]Sounds like this will be a big project, but it's GREAT that you're considering taking it on. I can certainly contribute a lot of healthy recipes but I'm not sure I'd be able to categorize them...[p]Tonia

  • Wise One,
    Try cinnamon for the high cholesterol. I use at least 1 tsb. / day and it works. Google the info. Janet

  • bs-002.jpg
    <p />Wise One,
    this is an interesting thread... considering the timing...[p]check this out... brussel sprouts and asparagus tips with dizzy pig shaking the tree and 2 tablespoons of butter and a little olive oil.[p]so you say you don't like brussel sprouts? i beg to differ! these were absolutely INCREDIBLE and it's the FIRST TIME EVER i have cook brussel spouts! thanks dhuffjr![p]this would make a fantastic side dish, but tonight, it was my dinner[p]a little provolone cheese on the tips and it's time to eat!


  • Rick's Tropical Delight,
    Rick, I would love to eat everything in that pan(yes,including the brussels sprouts) but...high cholesterol+ butter + cheese, HELLO!Janet

  • Wise One,[p]Oh, yeah! I'm a rectal orifice, pretending to be the grammar police.[p]"Healthy food," or "healthy cooking," or whatever...[p]should be[p]"Healthful food," or "healthful cooking," or whatever...[p]Just one-na my weird obsessions...[p]~ Broc

  • Marlin Darlin,[p]Yeah, I was wondering myself what the "healthy" component in that meal was. Kinda like saying chicken is a low-fat meat - and then you toss it in the deep fryer!![p]Ottawa_egger
  • Marlin Darlin,
    you're not supposed to notice that part. i don't have high cholesterol. sorry.[p]i guess you can just use the canola oil dhuffjr uses and no cheese then.[p]hello

  • Ottawa_egger,
    geez. my bad. i'd delete it if i could.[p]would you rather me replace the brussel sprouts and asparagus with a fatty meat then?[p]

  • Ottawa_egger,
    so exactly what do you disagree with?[p]and how is a measly tablespoon of butter a deep fryer!!?[p]maybe it's the drizzle of olive oil? or the dizzy pig rub? or the cast iron pan? or the lump?[p]

  • CampCookCampCook Posts: 157
    Wise One,
    There is so much mis information floating around it is almost impossible not to run down a bad ally. For instance, almost all of the "low fat" products pump up useless carbs to get the taste back in line. Also, butter is frequently maligned as high fat yet the fat is mostly beneficial amino acids . Many people actually lower colesteral by increasing butter intake.[p]I am a diabetic primarily because I am overweight. In my case elimination of carbs is an important thing to do. But, having read all the literature, I have concluded the very best strategy for me is to reduce overall intake of food. This is particularily difficult for someone who enjoys food as much as I do and especially when I have the wonderful egg to experiment with.[p]I doubt that I will ever give up ABT's, T-REXed rib-eyes, or wood fired pizza and bread. And, having grown up in Wisconsin, I will always appreciate butter, good blue cheese, home brewed beer, and, more recently, deepfried cheese curds. To do other wise would seem to negate certain of the necessary pleasures of life.[p]So, while I applaud your efforts, I believe the best approach is to maximize the information available about the content of recipes and let the user make individual decisions to suit his or her life style. In other words, don't get into judgemental discussions (or rants like our colleague from Florida). After all, these are recipes and how they are used is none of our business. Personally, I like the approach that offers alternatives for folks with specific concerns. For instance pointing out when Splenda is a satisfactory substitute for part or all of the sugar in a recipe or suggesting most of the fat can be trimed without affecting the taste for a particular preperation.[p]Sorry about the long post but I think about these things.

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    Rick's Tropical Delight,[p]As a society, many of us don't realize just what our food choices contain and contribute to our nutrition. We think we're eating veggies, so we're doing good, right? But, often it's the way things are cooked and/or prepared, plus the makeup of the added ingredients that help to contribute to the problem. [p]Also, you could ask 10 people what they think is "healthy" and you'll get different answers. If someone is watching carbs, their idea of what is good for them is vastly different than someone who is looking for low fat recipes. [p]Another part of the equation is portion sizes. Unless you're actually weighing and measuring your portions and ingredients, it's very likely that you're over-estimating what your food intake is. A serving of asparagus is 4 spears, and a serving of brussel sprouts is 2 sprouts, so you've got about 6 servings of asparagus and 2.5 servings of sprouts in the meal, not counting the butter, oil and cheese. If your asparagus and brussel sprouts had 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil (although, looking at the pic, it appears to be more than that - just based on what I measure out in a similar pan), and 2 oz of cheese, here's the NI for what you had:[p]Calories - 759 (39% of 2000 calorie day)
    Total Fat - 66.4 (102% of daily value)
    Cholesterol - 100 mg (59% of daily value)
    Sodium - 734 mg (30% of daily value)
    Carbs - 23.5 g (7% of daily value)
    Fiber - 6.8 g
    Protein - 26 g
    Calcium - 519.3 mg
    Potassium 1224.8 mg[p]* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet (source[p]Taking just the calroies, if you've used up 39% of your calories for the day in this meal, that leaves you only 1250 to split between the remaining items you consume, i.e. breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks, etc. But the thing is that you have to look at many more things than just the calories. Maybe that many calories wouldn't be as bad, if you got more nutrition out of them, fueled your body better, and kept you full longer. So, it's really important to be aware of what nutrition is. [p]If you're someone trying to reduce your fat, this would be very "unhealthy" for them, since it contains 102% fat. Same with cholesterol. If they are trying to reduce cholesterol, having something that is 59% would not likely be in their best interest. Add to this that a doctor may be making recommendations that differ with the "standard" governmental published guidelines on nutrition that most of the % daily value information is based on.[p]And, just for grins, here's what it would take for a 35 year old female that's 5.74 ft tall and weighs 144 lbs (example used on to BURN those same calories:[p]209 minutes of walking
    86 minutes of jogging
    63 minutes of swimming
    115 minutes of cycling[p]The point is, unless we know what we're eating, and are aware of what the portions are, we're flying blind and are most likely needing some improvement in our choices. [p]That's why I think Wise One is taking on such a MONUMENTAL task! Get the NI into the mix and let each person decide what the best choice for their particular needs is![p]Hope this helps,

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    QBabe,[p]Wow. This is a great post and a wealth of information.[p]I have been working the better part of a year to be more healthy - and everything you have posted here is just incredible info to help people who are trying to live a more healthy life.
  • Rick's Tropical Delight,[p]Healthy or not, it looks great. I think the main part that could be left off would be the cheese.[p]Greg
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.