From jogging and doing yoga to taking vitamins and sticking to a great skincare routine, caring for your body can manifest in countless ways. Among the chief influences on how you look and feel daily is diet. Whether you naturally reach for fruits and veggies, have an insatiable sweet tooth, or are always trying to expand your culinary excursions, there’s no denying that food has a tremendous impact on our weight, energy, mood, appearance…the list goes on. 

That being said, it’s crucial to understand how different cooking methods can work for or against your dietary goals. Today, we’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of grilling vs. frying your favorite foods — including everything from red meat and seafood to vegetables and beyond.

Embrace the full-bodied flavors produced when you fire up the grill. At Wesley Enhanced Living, we understand the nostalgia that comes with the “comfort foods” you have always loved. We strive to give our residents all the tastes they crave while keeping their nutrition needs in mind. Curious as to why grilled is better than fried? How about grilling vs. pan frying; wondering if there’s a difference? Let’s hop into all of this and more:

What Are the Disadvantages of Frying?

Everyone loves a piece of crispy fried chicken now and again, and a little fried food occasionally is okay, but there are ways to enjoy your favorite meats and vegetables without pulling out the cast iron skillet and lard. 

When foods are fried, they absorb a considerable amount of fat. Even if the food was a low-fat item to begin with, it ends up with excess fat content after being fried. When consumed, added fat increases your blood cholesterol level, which can pose health risks; arteries can get clogged over time, preventing smooth blood flow and increasing blood pressure. High cholesterol levels also up the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Higher calorie intake from fried foods also results in weight gain. Due to the high temperatures of heated oil, foods such as vegetables lose a lot of their moisture and easily-perishable vitamins when fried. When it comes to grilling vs. frying your favorite foods, frying may be the more tempting option initially; however, grilling reigns supreme for a multitude of reasons.

What Are the Health Benefits of Grilling?

Grilled meats have reduced fat content because fat drips off as the food cooks. This results in healthier meals and makes it easier to manage a low-fat diet. Reduced fat intake also helps lower bad cholesterol levels. We wouldn’t be properly exploring the grilled vs. fried food debate without mentioning that grilled foods have lower calorie content than their fried counterparts, helping you achieve weight management goals and stay fit.

The shorter cooking time involved with grilling results in minimal loss of moisture and vitamins from vegetables, ensuring as much of the nutritional content is retained in the food. Healthy cooking contributes to great health and overall wellbeing!

Is Pan-Frying the Same as Grilling?

Grilling utilized direct heating — think conventional grills — or indirect heat — think electric grills or grill pans. Conversely, pan-frying uses a cooking medium like hot cooking oil. Grilling drains excess fats from cooked foods while pan-frying boosts grease and fats since you’ve used oils for cooking. Grilling vs. pan-frying is another crossroads food lovers often come to; however, it’s crucial to know that grilling helps maximize the healthiness of what you’re about to devour. 

Speaking of which, let’s jump into a recipe you can feel good about preparing:

Mojo Shrimp: A Yummy Recipe to Try Tonight!

Are you ready to try your hand at grilling? We have an easy and quick recipe that uses a short list of ingredients probably already in your kitchen. While this can be cooked in a pan, try it on the grill as kabobs with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onions:

  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

1. Make the marinade in a medium bowl by combining garlic, ½ cup olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Reserve about ½ cup of marinade to use later.

2. Add shrimp to marinade and toss until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, but not more than 30, as the acid from the marinade will start to cook the shrimp.

3. Put on skewers with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Grill for 3 minutes, turning skewers around halfway through the time. Enjoy your Mojo Shrimp Kabobs!   

To cook on a pan:

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is simmering, add shrimp in a single layer. Sear until the shrimp is pink on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Flip shrimp and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Add the reserved marinade and bring liquid in the pan to a simmer for about a minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in chopped cilantro.

Serve over your favorite kind of rice, and enjoy!

Get Help with Your Nutrition Needs at Wesley Enhanced Living 

At Wesley Enhanced Living, we believe that a healthy body paves the way for a healthy mind! We encourage our residents and community at large to adopt practices that let them maximize their well-being and get the most out of their life, which includes preparing — and eating — delicious meals!

The idea of grilled vs. fried foods should spark ideas of balance and moderation. Positive changes to your cooking habits — such as choosing to grill more often than you fry — is a meaningful step in the right direction.

Transitioning to a continuing care retirement community at Wesley Enhanced Living is another step in the right direction. We offer our seniors different lifestyle options, including independent living, personal care services, rehabilitation, and long-term care. For more information about retirement communities near Wayne, PA, or senior living in Springfield, PA, reach out to us today!

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own, give you a tour, and inform you of our range of services.