What is Beef?

Beef, or red meat, has received a bad rap lately. There are so many opinions out there about fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol that have turned people away from eating beef when dieting. Not all beef is unfit for the fit! There are actually many essential vitamins and nutrients in beef that are hard to get in any other foods, especially if you are vegetarian. Some of the nutrients include iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. The “no red meat” revolution is over. Start enjoying those mouth watering steak dinners you’ve been feening for forever. So, hey steak lovers, this article is for you!

Just follow these guidelines to ensure you are getting the leanest, best cuts of meat. First, look for meat labeled “choice” or “select”. These are the leanest cuts. You do not want the cuts with a lot of fat marbling, or those labeled “prime”. They are usually cheaper to buy too. You’ll notice the white lines or veins running through the meat, and there will be a thick fat ring around the outside of the cut. The tenderloin, or top loin, are the leanest and most tender cuts of the beef. They have much less fat and are mostly red, muscle. The redder the meat, the better! You can always ask your butcher to explain to you the different cuts of meat, or to help you in making the leanest choice. Second, only eat small portions, approximately 4 oz., at a meal. This is enough to supply you with your daily dose of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Small, frequent meals are the way to go anyway, so a 4 oz. portion along with some veggies and ½ cup of a fiberous carb. Will be a perfect meal. Last, but not least, make sure you remove as much fat as you can before you begin cooking. This can be done by trimming all visible fat yourself, or ask the butcher to do it before you even buy the meat. Another way to help with fat removal is to grill the meat so the fat drippings are not soaked back into the meat while it cooks. Grilling also adds to the flavor, and in my opinion, is much less of a mess to clean up.

Removing the fat only makes the meat more nutritious by lowering the fat and cholesterol content. The most important aspect of the meat is always the same, regardless of the fat content. The most important aspect about beef is the unparalled bioavailability of its nutrients. The excellent supply of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 cannot be duplicated in any chicken, fish, egg or magic pill. Bioavailability refers to how easily the body is able to use a nutrient. The more bio-available something is, the better it is “digested”, absorbed and put to use by the body. If you take a calcium pill with 800 mg of calcium on the label, but your body only absorbs, or uses, 200 mg of the calcium, then that calcium pill was not very bioavailable. Hopefully my description is helping to make this make sense to you. Now, let me quickly brief you on the benefits of these three nutrients I’ve been talking about.

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