Does Grilling Meat Reduce Calories?

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 06/29/2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Food cooked over fire is always tasty and it is no secret that grilled fish, poultry, or meat contain less fat than their fried counterparts. Barbecues don’t have to be pig-outs. In other words, grilling is the best way and healthiest way of preparing food. If you are a grilling enthusiast, you might at one-time wonder if the grilled meat is healthy and if it has fewer calories. The article will justify your doubts.

Does Grilling Meat Reduce Calories?

Yes, grilling reduces calories. Grilling done over high temperatures releases fat from the cooking meat, and less fat means fewer calories. For instance, natural steak can lose almost one-third of the oil while barbecuing, producing lower fat content meat. This explains why grilled meat has lower calories compared to the same meat fried or dripped. However, grilling is associated with several health risks like cancer.

How does grilling reduce calories?

Whenever meat is prepared in high heat, it releases the fat from the inside. So if you are a bit careful and the fat drips through the grills, you will end up not eating it. The resulting meat will be of lower fat content than the protein in it.

Health risks associated with grilling meat

While grilling meat can reduce calories, the process has potential risks to consumers. For instance, the meat drips can form harmful compounds that might increase cancer risks once consumed. When fish, poultry, or red meat is prepared on an open flame, some chemicals form; the heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Heterocyclic amines form when naturally occurring sugars, amino acids, and other aggregates in the meat react at heat and char.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons develop when dripping meat fat and juice fall on the BBQ. These two compounds are presumably human carcinogens and can lead to cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the two chemicals can damage the human DNA cells, leading to cancerous tissue growth. Besides the cancer problems, there are other scary risks that come from barbequing meat.

High risk of high blood pressure

Grilled meat is super tasty and full of delicacy, but have you ever known that it can increase your chances of getting diabetes or high blood pressure? Yes, some grilled meat contains too much sodium, which can pose a health risk to your body. Too much sodium can bring about high blood pressure. If you grill excessively marinated meat, you will be consuming excessive salt or sugar without your realization.

  • Increased inflammation

Grilled meats cooked at high temperatures might lead to body swelling. Grilling meat produces a by-product known as Glycotoxins or AGES. These Glycotoxins multiply with continued grilling. Studies suggest that increased AGEs can lead to body swelling. Inflammation can lead to the development of chronic illnesses, cancer being one of them.

  • Constipation

Meats are part of a healthy diet but do not provide the body with fiber health gains, which assists in bowel movements. So if you don’t mix your grilled meat with fiber-rich foods like beans and vegetables, you are likely to suffer from constipation.

  • Increased cholesterol

The regular grilling of red fatty meat might lead to higher risks of cholesterol. Grilling saturated fats, and studies say that consuming too many saturated fats increases the risks for cardiovascular illnesses. While you can’t stop eating grilled meat because of this risk, you can minimize the risks by grilling in moderation.

  • Low birth weight in babies

Consuming too much grilled meat while pregnant can lead to low birth weight in infants. However, eating these meats occasionally will not be such a big concern. There are compounds known as PAHs found in grilled meat; these compounds can pass the placenta. Therefore, too much exposure to them is associated with low birth weight in infants, putting them at risk when born.

How can you Minimize the Risks Associated with Meat Grilling

While grilling has potential risks, it does not mean that you should do away with your BBQ or give up the seared meat forever. Grilling over an open flame fire is an old cuisine practice that appeals to primal human nature. It is all fun having outdoor campfires. So, take high-temperature cooking as a treat, and you should enjoy it once in a while. You can reduce the number of heterocyclic amines produced while barbecuing by using the following hacks.

  • Reduce the heat

Lowering the amount of heat and moving the grilling meat far from the heat source reduces the amount of HCA’s produced. This will as well prevent char.

  • Marinate the meat

Regularly using a marinade will reduce the meet’s HCA content by almost ninety-five percent.

  • Don’t overcook the meat.

Studies say that the cancer risk increases with every meat cooking degree. To avoid this, cook with a thermometer to ensure no meat heats beyond its recommended temperature.

  • Clean your grill before use

Grill crates hold a large number of germs from the dripping meat. Dirty grills can increase the amount of char on your meat, and any charred meal leads to the formation of free radicals that cause premature aging, disease, and tissue damages.

Does Grilling Add Calories?

Grilling can add or reduce calories depending on how you do it. If done carefully, grilling does not increase calories but instead reduces. Grilling is often done at high temperatures, so fat drips off the meat as it cools. Less fat means fewer calories, so that way it won’t increase calories. On the other hand, if not done correctly, it will add calories-Take an example when you grill and don’t wash the fat drippings after that. Besides taking back the drilled fats, you will be consuming dangerous chemicals formed on the grill.

Is Grilled Meat Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, grilled meat is good for weight loss because grilling meat reduces calories. As you grill the meat at high temperatures, it releases some fat; this results in lower fat content hence low calories. When the calories are low, it means that there will be less weight gain. Even when you are on a diet, fàt free meat often requires some butter or oil.

When meat is barbecued, it seeps out natural oils. With the smaller oil in the cooking process, there will be less fat. Meaning that the excess fat will drip before it gets to the plate. So, if you are aiming at losing weight, you can prefer grilled meat over roasted meat.

Why is Meat Grilling a Healthy Way of Cooking Meat?

Grill investment is a healthy way of cooking meat than other regular meat cooking methods. Grilling meat uses less butter or oil and also melts fat from the meat. Due to the less fat content, the amount of fat consumed in the meat reduces, therefore, help in preventing heart diseases like cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, this reduces the risk of cholesterol in the body. Grilling reduces the cooking time; this ensures that the meat retains its flavors and nutrients, which would have otherwise been destroyed if another cooking method is used. But always remember to avoid burning the meat to avoid cancer.

Why is Grilling Meat so Important?

There are diverse benefits of grilling meat than any other means of preparing meat meals. Here is what grilling does to the meat for it to be beneficial in your body.

  • It melts down lots of fat.

If you compare preparing meat through grilling and cooking, the cooked one is considered unhealthier than the grilled one. When you cook the meat, it contains a lot of fat that you do take in. These fat are not good for your body’s health as they can have health hazards such as blocking up blood vessels.

Cooking meat gives it more chances to cook on its fat and reabsorb it, but grilling does verse vasa. Grilling works on the meat and ensures that it does not baste over its fat. However, it also gives the meat no chance to reabsorb the fat. This process is done by dripping all the fat away from the meat.

  • Grilling retains meat’s moisture.

Eating dry meat could reduce its flavor and appetite if you have prepared the meal through frying. Always, moisty meat is most tastier than any style of cooking it. The moisture in the meat is all that carries the tender and tasty of the meat. You don’t have to lose your appetite just because your meat lost its flavor due to lack its taste conditions. Just consider the grilled meat as the smoker cooks it while retaining the required moisture.

Unlike in frying, where your meat becomes dry, and you have to use unhealthier products to help it soften, grilling ensures only it drip the fat away and keeps the meat soft for your health. Apart from keeping the meat moist, the dripped fat goes with a large percentage of calories; thus, you end up taking in fewer calories.

  • Grilling retains meat’s nutrients.

If we compare grilling meat over frying, smoking meat is much healthier. This is because meat contains two types of nutrients that are much important in the body. They include riboflavin and thiamine, which play nice roles to keep your body’s shape. If you choose to fry the meat, then it loses a large percentage of all these nutrients. Therefore, it means you have to eat a lot of fried meat to take in enough nutrients. But grilling meat does the best job to keep the nutrients present in the meat.

  • Grilling meat is more to Maillard Reaction.

The chemical reaction between sugar reduction and amino acids is all found in grilling meat naturally. Therefore, grilling meat ensures it gives the meal a distinct flavor naturally rather than adding up unhealthy flavor sources. That is the reason when you fry a slice of meat, you have to add other spices at least to draw back the meat’s taste of which not healthy, but in grilling, caramelizes low sugars tasty naturally.

Is Smoking Meat Healthier than Grilling?

Neither smoking nor grilling meat scientifically has been healthier. On the contrary, each of these methods has health risks, although the hazards to the body may differ. But the big chances of smoking and grilling meat is that they almost have equal risks to harm your body. Both styles of cooking meat contribute to two astonishing chances of risks, for example combining meat with aflatoxin food and infecting individuals with Hepatitis B.

Liver cancers are much associated with these two types of cooking meat. Statistically, the women who love eating smoked or grilled meat or barbecues have been said to develop breast cancer. For example, the percentage of women who have died of breast cancer across the United States is higher than those who have died of cancer from other risks.

But of the two types of cooking meat, the worst method is smoking meat. In the US, 23% of deaths are attributed to women with breast cancer who have a history of consuming smoked meat. But even that’s not enough; grilled or smoked meat has many carcinogens. Much organic material burned up during the grilling or smoking of the meat, leading to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

These are deadly chemical gases that no human health can withstand for long. PAH chemicals are equivalent to taking packets of cigarettes. Inhaling or taking in such chemicals bridges breast cancer in women alongside how it affects men.


Outdoor grilling has become common, especially with the sizzling sound when a steak hits the barbecue. Summer is here, and you have to enjoy great outdoor grilling. From the amalgam taste of grilled meat to the serene aroma all over the cuisine place, grilled meat comes with several benefits than any other form of cooking. Grilling meat has a lot of health benefits, one of them being reducing calories. However, besides the benefits, there is the dark side of grilling. It leads to several health risks like increased cholesterol and other cancer risks.