Beef: Should it Be for Dinner?
Beef has certainly garnered a lot of attention when it comes to nutrition. The center of the classic â€śmeat and potatoesâ€ť plate, its contribution toward a healthy diet has not been consistently affirmed. Read more to learn about â€śthe original red meatâ€ť and how it can still be a part of a nutritious diet.
Harvesting and processing: The varieties of beef are numerous, from different cuts to variations in quality grades and feed type. Most beef raised in the U.S. is started on pasture (grass), then finished on grains. The USDA recently stopped regulating the use of the term â€śgrass-fed,â€ť though suppliers can use the term voluntarily. USDA grades indicate quality having to do with marbling, maturity, firmness, texture and color.
Nutritional attributes: Many cuts of beef actually meet the USDA requirements for designation as â€ślean,â€ť which is defined as less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams. Some favorite cuts that meet these criteria include bottom round roasts, top round steak, top sirloin steak, 95% lean ground beef and even T-bone steak. Beef also provides an easily absorbable form of iron, B vitamins, and minerals like zinc and selenium.
How to shop for it: Look for beef with a bright-red color; good, firm texture; and visible, even marbling. Avoid beef that is darkened or appears sticky or mushy.
How to enjoy it: Lean cuts of beef are ideal for grilling, stir frying and pan-broiling. Serve beef with a vitamin C source to boost iron absorption even more! For example, try beef and broccoli kabobs, beef served with tomatoes and parmesan cheese, or even beef marinated in orange juice, lime juice and cilantro.
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