The Benefits Of Eating Beef
There is this misconception that the fat in beef is all saturated fat, but 50% of it is monounsaturated – the same kind of good fat that’s in olive oil. Thirteen percent (13%) of beef’s saturated fat is in the form of stearic acid which does not raise unhealthy blood cholesterol.
One of beef’s best features is that the fat is visible: “You can’t take the fat out of an egg or off fish, but you can trim your beef and control the amount of fat. If beef looks lean, it is lean.” People may associate steak with a big fatty T-bone, but trimmed beef, on average, has less than 10% fat.
In a campaign this spring, she even urged dieters to think “steak-over” instead of “makeover” by teaching about nutrient-rich proteins. “The thing with fat is you have to budget, so get it from nutrient-dense foods and not from things like muffins or potato chips that contain negative nutrients like sugar and trans-fats,” she says.
Higher protein intake can help manage weight and increase satiety and energy while reducing hunger. And though protein builds and maintains muscles, studies indicate that the amount most people eat falls at the lower recommended range.
Beef also contains 14 nutrients including twice the iron, six times the B12, and eight times the zinc of chicken breast. It’s also lower in fat than chicken thighs, the latest ingredient trending in foodie circles. And by the way sirloin tip and sockeye salmon have the same amount of fat.
Steak (and other grass-fed red meat) is recommended in The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain’s best-selling book on the popular back-to-the-hunter-gatherer movement. And according to Dr. Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at www.mayoclinic.com, grass-fed beef contains less total fat, more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and more antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.
As for beef’s connection to cancer, Ottawa’s Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity specialist who blogs on www.weightymatters.ca, scrutinized results of the Nurses Health Study/Healthy Professionals Follow-Up Study involving over 121,000 men and women: “You are going to die regardless of what you eat,” wrote Dr. Freedhoff who admits to liking a good burger. “But this study would suggest that you’ll die ever so slightly younger if you eat red meat each and every day of the week…” Who would, though?
Eating fish or chicken, avoiding fruits and vegetables and sitting on the couch all day won’t get you very far either: Almost a quarter of our calories are coming from nutrient-poor foods not on any food guide. They’re junk foods with extra sodium, sugar and fat. Those empty calories, not red meat, are like the elephant in the room.