Red meat gets a bad rap for it's seemingly high cholesterol and saturated fat content. However, not all cuts are created equal. Choosing lean red meat (i.e. 10 grams of fat or less) is a natural source of B-vitamins, serving many purposes from promoting a healthy nervous system to building a strong immune system, healthier skin and eyes. Lean red meat also supplies a great dose of iron, which helps your red blood cells transport oxygen efficiently to other parts of your body. A lack of iron can lead to problems such as low energy levels, learning problems, and behavioral issues. Another benefit of including lean meat in your diet is the amount of zinc. Your body needs zinc to help build and maintain muscle mass, strengthen your immune system and help promote healthy brain function. Along with it's excellent nutrient content, the protein in red meat contains all the essential amino acids to build muscle and repair tissue. Adequate protein aids in weight loss as it satisfies your hunger, keeping you full for hours after your meal.
Am I suggesting you eat steak and potatoes every night for dinner? Definitely not. However, having lean red meat a few times per week can be part of a healthy diet. Check labels for the terms "lean" or "extra lean". A lean cut of beef is any 3.5 ounce serving containing 10 grams of fat or less, and 95 mg cholesterol or less. An extra-lean cut of beef contains 5 grams of fat or less, and 95 mg cholesterol or less.
The leanest cuts of beef are:
Top sirloin steak, bottom round roast and steak, top round roast and steak, eye of round steak, and sirloin tip side steak.
- When selecting ground beef, opt for lowest percentage of fat (90% lean or higher)
- Cut off any visible fat.
- Choose grass-fed beef. Know where your meat is coming from, and if ordering it at a restaurant, how it was prepared.
- Try these recipes to start cooking with lean meat: Steak Pizza, Waldorf Salad, Buffalo Avocado Steak Sliders