Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

Healthier Cooking Methods: Grilling versus Frying

Cooking methods have a significant impact on the quality of food you consume. Grilling and frying are two popular methods used to cook food. To grill foods, you place them on a wire grid placed under or above a dry heat source. The food is cooked by thermal radiation. It is also referred to as broiling or pan grilling.

Fried foods are usually dipped into a fryer or pan that contains very hot oil or fat. Foods may be deep fried or shallow fried. The high temperatures and high heat conductivity cooks the food. This yields attractive, crispy food with a great aroma. However, the quality of food drops considerably when fried. Many fried foods can be grilled as a healthier alternative.

Disadvantages of Frying

When foods are fried, they absorb a lot of fat. Even if the food was a low fat item, it ends up with a high fat content when fried. When consumed, it increases the blood cholesterol level. High cholesterol levels pose greater risks to health. Arteries get clogged over time. This prevents the smooth flow of blood and increases blood pressure. High cholesterol levels also increase the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Higher calorie intake from fried foods results in weight gain. It becomes more difficult to manage a healthy weight program when fried foods are eaten regularly in the diet. Other foods, such as vegetables, loose much of their moisture and easily perishable vitamins when fried. This is because of the extremely high temperatures of the heated oil. Although fried food may be tasty with a great texture, it is harder to digest than grilled foods. This is because of the high amount of fat absorbed by the food as it cooks. Foods with a high fat content exert more pressure on the digestive system and organs. This contributes to disorders of the digestive tract. It also exacerbates conditions such as ulcers and gallstones. A healthier cooking alternative to frying is grilling.

Health Benefits of Grilling

Grilled meats have a reduced fat content. This is because the fat drips off as the food cooks. It results in healthier meals and makes it easier to manage a low fat diet. Grilled foods also have lower calorie content than fried foods. This helps in weight management and keeping fit. Reduced fat intake helps to lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Healthy cholesterol levels improve cardiovascular health. Various health conditions such as obesity, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes become a risk with fried foods.

When you grill your food, it helps to reduce the risk of such diseases. It also ensures that you get more value out of your food. This is because of the shorter cooking time involved when you grill. It results in minimal loss of moisture and vitamins from vegetables. This ensures that as much of the nutritional content is retained in the food when cooked. Healthy cooking contributes to good health and overall wellbeing.

Article Comments