Nutrition Articles

The Thrill of the Grill

A Healthy Way to Celebrate Summer


Warm days are filled with family picnics, neighborhood cookouts, community parades—and lots of summer food favorites.

Grilling can enhance the flavor of meats, poultry, fish and even garden-fresh fruits and vegetables. To liven up your grilling experience, add a fast and easy liquid marinade, spicy rub, or tangy glaze.

Marinades consist of liquid ingredients (a mix of fruit or vegetable juices, wine, water, or oil) combined with seasonings and herbs. When meat soaks in the liquid, it becomes saturated with flavor. Beef should marinate for 6 hours or overnight; pork, fish, and chicken, which are more tender, only need to steep for 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Get the most out of your marinade: Add acidic ingredients to the mixture to help tenderize the meat, and always marinate in the refrigerator. It’s safe (and tasty) to brush on marinade during the grilling process, but never reuse the marinade or use it as a dipping sauce after cooking (because of bacterial contamination). 

Island Marinade Recipe

In a self-sealing bag, combine together 1/2 cup orange juice, 4 tablespoons lime juice, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, and 1 tablespoon honey. Add pork chops or chicken breasts. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

A Dry Rub is a mix of spices that is rubbed onto meat just before grilling.

Try this Southwestern Rub on chicken or pork.

Mix together 5 teaspoons chili powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons oregano, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Rub onto 2 pounds of meat and grill.


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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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