Before I begin, this is not a plug for beef. Nor is this an attack on vegans or vegetarians. This here lil post is in beef’s defense. I am not associated with the beef council; I am just a dietitian from Texas who wants you to stop feeling guilty when you serve lean beef to your family.
I believe that beef is “guilty by association”. “Oh I never serve my family beef.” “We only eat fish and chicken.” “I always substitute ground turkey for ground beef.” Honestly, if you don’t want to eat beef, that is ok. (This is a loving and respecting blog). However, I don’t want you to be avoiding lean beef because you think it’s bad for you. Spoiler alert: lean beef is good for you.
Here the 411 on the research. There are numerous studies associating red & processed meat with an increased risk of cancer. First and foremost, association and is not causation. And second, you cannot pinpoint nor demonize one particular food in these observational studies. It’s a combination y’all! Being overweight, not exercising, boozing too much, skimping on your fruit and veggie intake, smoking, oh and let us not forget about genetics (thanks Mom and Dad) all play apart in your cancer and heart disease risk. Lastly, “red meat” is way more than beef. Red meat is meat from deer, boars, quail, pheasant, cattle, duck, and goose. Processed meat is meat that is preserved by smoking, curing or salting (bacon, salami, sausage, hot dogs, and processed deli meat).
Now, now, don’t get me wrong! I do not recommend over consuming any particular food. I am a big advocate for variety. But, did you know, recent research shows that consuming lean beef as a part of a heart healthy diet is an effective way to decrease your LDL? I shit you not. Not only does lean beef taste SO DAMN GOOD, it can IMPROVE those cholesterol levels. The research had participants consume 5.4 ounces of lean beef daily. So here in Texas, that is like a kiddie portion, but a portion nonetheless! Look for the word ROUND or LOIN in the name. Lean = 10 gram total fat, 4.5 gram saturated fat and 95 mg of cholesterol. A 3 ounce serving of lean beef is about 150 calories and contains 10 essential nutrients.
Protein like lean beef has been shown to assist weight management. Protein helps keeps you full and satisfied! Current research shows that spreading your protein throughout your day helps decrease cravings, preserve muscle mass and balance your blood sugar.
So, take home message. Look for “round” or “loin”, mind your portion (about the size your iPhone) and DO NOT feel guilty enjoying lean beef.
Now excuse me, I’m off to grill my steak.