Newswise — CLEVELAND -- "The grill is an excellent cooking option in the summer," says Lisa Cimperman, RD, a clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Grilling is not only a way to take the mess of cooking out of the house but also a way to eat healthier and even lose weight if done well, according to Cimperman.

Cimperman suggests using lean cuts of meat, less fatty ground beef, and substituting chicken and turkey alternatives for ground beef and sausage. Not only is it healthier, she says, but melting fat causes flare-ups on the grill which chars meats and carries the risk of creating carcinogens. She also suggests using the grill to cook seafood, fruits, and to add flavor to vegetables.

"Marinade vegetables and the grill caramelizes the natural sugars, enhancing the natural flavors in zucchini, squash, Portobello mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes," says Cimperman. "That's a great way to cut back on calories in your diet and fill-up and add some really great nutrition as well."

With Memorial Day coming up, Cimperman reminds us summer can be a time for overindulgence but she recommends getting back on a healthy track the next day.

Grilling Tips

1) Choose leanest cuts of meat (tenderloin/flank) and lower fat ground beef (90/10)2) Substitute turkey and chicken alternatives for beef and sausage3) Don't eat too much blackened and charred meat (carcinogens)4) Marinade meat for moisture and prevent charring5) Don't contaminate food by putting cooked meat on plate that carried raw meat6) Grill vegetables and seafood7) Grill fruits like pineapple or peaches over frozen yogurt for dessert

About University HospitalsUniversity Hospitals, the second largest employer in Northeast Ohio, serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians in 16 counties. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center, one of only 18 hospitals in the country to have been named to U.S. News & World Report’s most exclusive rankings list: the Best Hospitals 2013-14 Honor Roll. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, UH Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopaedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. UH Case Medical Center is the 2012 recipient of the American Hospital Association – McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for its leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety. For more information, go to