Marinating is a popular way to add flavor to almost any food you want to grill: beef, chicken, poultry, even vegetables. But if you're watching your weight or your heart health, be aware that some marinades can add unwanted calories, fat and sodium to your dish. If you're buying a bottled marinade, check the nutrition label.

Here are some healthier alternatives to high-fat marinades:

  • Tomato salsa
  • Fruit juices with herbs added
  • Vinegar-based marinades (instead of oil-based)
  • Chicken broth
  • Herbs and spices rubbed onto the food before grilling

A safety tip: Throw out a marinade after you've used it for meats, poultry or fish. Those raw foods can leave harmful bacteria in the marinade. (Bacteria on the foods themselves will be killed as long as they're grilled for an appropriate duration at a high enough temperature.)