Tis the season for BBQs: everything you need to know to stay healthy …

Summer is well underway and barbecues are all the rage. In order to avoid adverse health reactions, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate have launched an information campaign about cooking on a grill.

Summer is synonymous with outdoorsy activities, entertainment and events and a barbecue with friends and family is never amiss. The Directorate has launched an awareness campaign on the preparation and cooking of food on the barbeque.

The Directorate’s recommendations have been collated in a book, which include a number of recipes ideal for this type of cooking.

Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Dr. Paula Vassallo said “It’s not just meat. Vegetables too form an important part of our dietary guidelines and is based on a Mediterranean diet, which we know that is very healthy and prevents many chronic diseases. ”

The Directorate recommends that food be kept at least 5 cm away from the flame, that meat is turned over frequently – preferably every minute – to avoid burning, for marinade not to be greasy to avoid a grilling flare-up and to use a low flame.

‘We can also wrap food up to avoid grease or fat dripping on the coals because the flare-up can be very toxic and damaging. ”

Dr Joao Breda, Head of the European World Health Organization Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases said that a campaign like this is essential for people to improve their way of life.

“Their behaviors in terms of diet, physical activity, protection from the harmful effect of exposure to the sun, therefore, are really important. They should be part of a package which is comprehensive and start with interventions at the primary care level to legislation and regulations sometimes to better policies in schools and physical activity.”

As temperatures sizzle, the Directorate for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, has warned the public – particularly children, the elderly and those suffering from chronic disease – to stay out of the sun between eleven in the morning and four in the afternoon and to drink plenty of water. Moreover, windows should be opened in the evenings and kept closed during the day. Curtains should also be drawn during the day.

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