Is Grilled Steak Healthy? (Expert’s Take)

Grilled steaks are a favorite. Meat cooked in this method is juicy after it has been seared and rested. 

Of course, grilled steak also goes into burgers and is enjoyed with fries and a cool drink. If you enjoy grilled meat, or if you have children at home drooling over grilled chicken, you must have asked yourself — is grilled steak healthy? 

Is grilled steak healthy? Everything You Need To Know

In this article, we will identify the answer to this question and address the concern in detail to help you make a better choice. 

First, let’s put your mind at ease by mentioning that steak is healthy and offers many benefits. As long as you consume it in moderation, steak can become a part of your healthy diet plan and lifestyle. 

Is Grilled Steak Healthy? 

Grilled steak is much healthier than meat prepared in a pan. While cooking in a pan, you need to add a significant amount of fat, like butter or oil. The additional fat increases the calorie count of the food and eventually leads to weight gain.  Besides, consuming oil and butter leads to cholesterol and heart issues in the long run. 

A healthier alternative is grilling your meat. Not only can you avoid adding extra fat to the meat, but the fat already on the meat also drips while grilling. The melted fat lands on the coal or gas and evaporates. This vapor is again absorbed into the food, thus adding flavor to your meat. 

Why is Grilled Steak Healthy
Why is Grilled Steak Healthy?

The Negatives: 

Though there are many benefits of grilling meat, some concerns have been generated based on certain research findings. 

AGEs, or advanced glycation end products, are compounds that occur in food when cooked at high temperatures. If consumed regularly, AGEs lead to heart inflammation and chronic heart disease. 

Other compounds known as HCAs and PAHs also forms in food when animal protein like beef, chicken, fish, and pork are cooked at high temperature for a long time. They appear as carcinogens in animals. Thankfully, no research has shown that they lead to cancer in humans. 

Some research has shown that people who consume steak daily develop certain cancers like colon, bladder, and pancreas. 

Benefits of Grilled Steak

Steak is a popular nutrient-rich food. However, please note there are slight differences between the different cuts of steak. Since fatty steaks are the best for grilling, it’s advisable to consume them in moderation due to the high calorie. But there are many benefits of eating steak. 

Benefits of Grilled Steak
Benefits of Grilled Steak
  • Protein-rich: Steak is the best clean protein source. Protein is one of the body’s primary nutrients for muscle building, hair, and nail growth. Steak offers loads of protein and no carbs. 
  • Iron source: Like beef, steak is a great source of iron. The body easily absorbs iron sourced from red meat. Thus eating steak occasionally can increase your iron levels and prevent anemia. 
  • Healthy teeth: In addition to protein and iron, steak provides the required amount of phosphorus to the body, an important chemical for maintaining teeth health. 
  • Micronutrient content: Steaks also have a huge reserve of micronutrients that helps you stay healthy. It contains B-group vitamins like Omega-3 fatty acids,, E, A, and Zinc. 

As you see, steaks are almost superfoods if you are willing to consume lean cuts and cut down on calories. 

Shall You Dismiss Grilling? 

Though the findings of these researches are quite alarming, don’t dismiss grilling immediately. The researchers have yet not been able to identify whether the health risks are related to a certain type of good, the method of cooking, or a combination of both.

It’s still unclear whether we should just dismiss grilling as a cooking method or avoid a certain type of meat, like processed meat. You can still enjoy your summer grilling by following a few safety tips, which will add flavor to your food and make it healthy.

Shall You Dismiss Grilling
Shall You Dismiss Grilling?

Marinate the food

When red meat is dripped in a marinade for a long time, approximately an hour, the number of AGEs reduces significantly than when the meat is not marinated. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends marinating your meat for some time before grilling. 

Benefits from herbs

One research has identified that compounds in rosemary reduce HCA in food significantly, especially in beef. Besides, adding verbs like oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary will also improve the food taste. 

Eat vegetables

Instead of only consuming meat daily, add vegetables to your daily diet. You can also grill your veggies or even consume them as a salad for that extra crunch. Food that is rich in protein, and fat contains high levels of AGEs and HCAs, but veggies don’t. Veggies have copious amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals that protect HCAs and AGEs. 

Reduce cooking time

Both cooking material and cooking time impact the formation of harmful chemicals. Thus as AIRC suggests, keep the grilling time short when working with high-protein meat. You can apply this method with fish or cut your meat into small pieces to reduce the cooking time. Marinating will also be beneficial and add flavor to your meat. 

Avoid direct smoke or flame

It’s best to keep the food away from direct flame. So, it’s advisable to let the flame settle down before you put it on the grill pan. PAH is formed when fat and juices drip from the food when cooked on direct fire and stick to the food. You can avoid PAH by option for leaner protein and trimming the excess fat. 

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As it turns out, like everything else, steak is also healthy as long as you consume it in moderation. However, it’s important to balance your plate by adding sufficient vegetables and fruits to your diet. 

Also, please consult your doctor about your dietary requirements and check if you should have meat regularly. 

Enjoy your grilled steak.

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