Photo: Claire Benoist

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For years, grilling has gotten a bad rap: There's the link, backed by dozens of studies, between cooking meat at high temps over an open flame and potentially cancer-causing chemicals; the increased risk of illness when food sits out in the heat; and the fact that standard burgers-and-dogs fare isn't really helping anyone's waistline. But we're not here to be Debbie Downers. Try these simple work-arounds so you can keep the barbie fired up all season long.

1. Pick Your Meat Wisely
I always choose the leanest cuts," says registered dietitian Jim White, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "That means burgers that are at least 93 percent lean. There's less fat to make its way down onto hot coals and release the smoke that contains carcinogens."