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Interview with Michele Rager about Healthy Grilling

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Medical Minute; 2:22

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Medical Center. Mount Nittany Life Forward. Well, it’s summertime, and a lot of us are enjoying our meals outside on the grill, but there are some health concerns when doing so, and that is our subject this week. Our guest is clinical dietitian at Mount Nittany Medical Center Michele Rager. Thanks for joining us today.

Michele Rager: Thank you.

Dave Kurten: Michele, what are some healthy foods that are great on the grill?

Michele Rager: Well, of course when we think about foods for grilling, automatically hot dogs and hamburgers are what pop into our mind. But, there are some other great low-fat alternatives, because the hot dogs and hamburgers are typically higher in fat and cholesterol. Things that we would choose instead would be things like chicken breast, ground turkey, bison burgers or veggie burgers. And, I really love fruits and vegetables on the grill. They’re healthy for you, they’ve got lots of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, and they’re easy to prepare. Grilled fruits are great for a low-fat dessert, and they can be served with low-fat ice cream or with angel food cake.

Dave Kurten: Is cross-contamination a concern when grilling?

Michele Rager: Definitely. It’s important to maintain food safety from the time you bring those groceries home until they’re served at the table. For example, you want to make sure when you’re storing foods in your refrigerator that the raw meats and poultry are below the fresh fruits and vegetables, so that those juices don’t have a chance to drip on the fresh fruits and veggies. Also, when preparing the foods, you want to make sure that you’re keeping the fresh fruits and vegetables separate from those raw meats and poultry, or that you’re using separate cutting boards or washing them with hot, soapy water in between uses. You never want to use the same platter for the foods before they’re prepared and after you’re ready to take them off the grill. You’d want to use separate platters.

Dave Kurten: What is your number-one healthy grilling tip?

Michele Rager: My number-one healthy grilling tip would be to make sure to keep things low fat, either by using olive oil with your veggies or just sprinkling some herbs.

Dave Kurten: Where can community members get more information about nutrition?

Michele Rager: The American Dietetic Association has some great grilling tips on their website at eatright.org. Or, if you’re looking for recipes, I also like eatingwell.com, or Mayo Clinic has a great site.

Dave Kurten: Michele Rager, clinical dietitian at Mount Nittany Medical Center, has been our guest on this edition of the Medical Minute. Thanks for your time.

Michele Rager: Thank you.

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Medical Center. Mount Nittany Life Forward. 

 

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