As the forth of July comes upon us, we find our grills have been warmed up for the summer season for the past few weeks. One of the great things about grilling is its a quick cooking method allowing you to get dinner or lunch on the table fast, and who doesn’t like that idea!

 Over the past few years there has been research showing there is a relationship with grilling and carcinogens. There are ways to do to avoid the carcinogens this forth of July as well as the rest of the year.

 Keep these things in mind for a healthy grilling season:

 Research conducted at Kansas State University shows that marinating meat could cut 57 to 88 percent of carcinogens. Marinade is thought to create a protective barrier between the meats proteins and the grill. Some believe that the antioxidants in the marinade may combat the carcinogens directly before grilling.

 Cleaning your grill before and after grilling food will eliminate any built up carcinogens left on the grill. When cleaning the grill make sure to change the grill brush once you notice the wire bristles falling out. You wouldn’t want your family or friends finding one of the wires on their burger or steak.

 One of the most important things when grilling is to avoid the smoky flare ups. Cooking fatty pieces of meat causes fat to drip into the fire creating flames and smoke. These flames and smoke will cause your meat to cook fast as well as cause an increase in carcinogens. If by chance you are having a bad day and you burn the meat to the point its all blackened, remove the all charred or burnt portions before eating. Some grills have hot spots while others have cool areas so be sure to work the grill to avoid those flare ups by moving the meat around. To keep the carcinogens at the lowest possible point choose lean cuts of meats. Less fat means less smoke and flare ups. Less fat is also a good idea for those of us watching our cholesterol.

 In healthy grilling, size matters. Use thin cuts of meats or cut it into cubes. Kabobs are a great way to cook smaller pieces of meat and a mixture of other ingredients. This will cut the cooking time as well as the decreasing the chances of charring.

If you’re not a meat eater try grilling pineapple, peaches or be adventurous and try grilling watermelon. Grilling fruits brings out the natural sweetness.

 Happy Fourth of July!