Summertime gets us outside grilling and barbecuing. It’s lovely to get out of the kitchen and socialize as you cook. But make sure you include plenty of vegetables too. They are particularly important with grilled foods. 

When we grill or barbecue foods, the cooking process can create what are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).   These are the bits of food that go black and crispy on the BBQ, or browned edges. AGEs can actually age us. They do this by causing oxidative stress and inflammation. AGE levels have been linked to neurodegeneration, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and most age-related illnesses. 

But it doesn’t mean you have to give up your BBQ. Just incorporate a few strategies to reduce the amount of AGEs that are produced and enjoy that social cooking time outdoors. Here are three approaches:  

  1. Reduce the temperature of the grill which helps reduce AGEs. So rather than just have it super hot, try grilling/BBQ at medium temperatures. You’ll still get the flavor.
  2. Add lots of veg and fruit to the meal to help quench the AGEs, like this grilled carrot recipe and a variety of salads.
  3. If grilling meat, leave it in a marinade for a while before cooking that includes vinegar or lemon/lime juice. These will help reduce the levels of AGEs too. 

Try today’s grilled carrot recipe.  It includes a nicely spiced yogurt that may remind you of my previous blog posts on yogurt as a vehicle. You can choose dairy-free yogurt if you wish, or sheep or goat. The thicker the better, however – and of course, unsweetened. 

Infographic recipe of grilled carrots with cumin yogurt from CALMERme.com

And as a bonus, the dish looks really pretty! Go have fun cooking!

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