Do you believe beef is bad for your health? Do you question whether or not you should be a vegetarian? What about it’s association with obesity?
Well these are pretty complex questions which I couldn’t possibly answer in one blog post, however, I will give you some research-based information on how beef can be incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet. But don’t worry, I will not tell vegetarians to change their way of eating, but I will advice those who enjoy beef to continue, while including my healthy suggestions below.
I had the pleasure of participating in a Nutrition Adventure trip to Kansas City this past week focused on protein and beef along with several fellow registered dietitians from around the country. We not only learned about how beef goes from farm to plate, similar to my Michigan Pasture to Plate Tour a month ago, but we also learned the importance of animal protein. Several myths were busted along with fantastic educational sessions on the important benefits of beef and the cattle industry.
We stayed at this amazing bed and breakfast, Chateau Avalon, that featured amazing themed “adventure rooms” including a rain forest, a pirate’s cove, a New York Penthouse and many more.
Here are a few reasons why beef should NOT be given such a bad reputation:
- There are over 38 cuts of beef that fit into the lean category (lean beef must have less than 10 grams of total fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 3 1/2 ounce serving).
- Beef is nutrient-rich: a 3 ounce serving of lean beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B-12, selenium and phosphorus. An excellent source means the food must provide 20 percent or more of the daily value (recommended daily amount) for that nutrient.
- Lean beef is also a good source of niacin, vitamin B-6, iron and riboflavin. A good source means the food must provide 10-19 percent of the recommended amount daily for that nutrient.
- It’s so versatile: you can grill, oven-roast, stir-fry, or pan-fry beef to add variety to any meal.
- As an excellent source of protein, beef can help you feel more satisfied which can help prevent overeating.
- Protein also helps build and replenish muscles when paired with exercise.
What this does NOT mean in regards to beef:
I want to be clear and say that I am NOT promoting eating high fat beef regularly. Personally, I mostly stick with beef that is labeled lean or extra lean. What I am trying to emphasize is that beef (eaten the proper way) can be incorporated into your meals just like chicken and turkey while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As you know, I am all for realistic tips and nutrition for the entire family.
So what does this mean for you?
- You can include lean beef into your meals frequently, just stick to the lean options and a 3-5 ounce serving, depending on your specific calorie needs.
- Add vegetables and whole grains to your beef entrees to have a delicious and nutritious balanced meal.
- If you’re looking for beef recipes check out this fantastic resource from the Beef Checkoff along with an Interactive Meat Case that allows you to choose your cut of meat and gives recommended cooking methods.
- Check out the 30-Day Protein Challenge where you’ll find daily emails that include tips, goals and motivation to help you include high-quality protein at each meal.
Thanks to the Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri State Beef Councils for an amazing and inspiring trip!
I hope this clears up some common misconceptions regarding beef. If you have any questions about beef or the cattle industry please leave a comment below!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, however lodging and meals were provided for the Nutrition Adventure trip. And as always, all the opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.
This Beef: Does it deserve such a bad reputation post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.