By Jessica Ivey, RDN
With the New Year in full swing, many Americans have made resolutions, particularly ones focused on improved health. This year, make a resolution to eat more nutrient-rich lean beef to combine delicious flavor with the power of protein. Beef is a nutritional powerhouse, providing 10 essential nutrients your body needs to be fueled optimally. Notably, beef supplies more nutrition in a smaller package than other protein foods. Each three-ounce serving of cooked lean beef contains 25 grams of protein (that’s 50% of the Daily Value) packaged in just around 150 calories. You would have to eat three cups of cooked quinoa to get that same amount of protein, and you’d take in 666 calories. Research shows that people who eat a higher-protein diet feel more satisfied, which may help prevent overeating, and that exercise is more effective when paired with a high-protein diet.
Concerned about heart health? The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) Study, a checkoff-funded research effort, found that people who consumed lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet saw a 10 percent decrease in their LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults consume about 5.5 ounces of protein foods each day, and beef can be incorporated at any meal to help meet the recommended intake. In addition to protein, beef’s nutrient package includes iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and B6, which play a role in immune and brain function.
Lean beef gives you fewer calories to help with weight control. Lean beef choices have less than 10 grams total fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per three-ounce cooked serving. There are many lean beef choices available, and thanks to advancements in breeding technology, nutrition programs and trimming practices, more than 60 percent of the whole muscle beef cuts available in grocery stores today meet the criteria for lean when trimmed of visible fat. As a rule of thumb, go for cuts with the words “round” or “loin” in the name. Some common choices include SsirloinSteak, Tenderloin Steak, Strip Steak (or New York Strip), Top Sirloin Roast, and 95% ean Ground Beef.
While pursuing your New Year resolutions, be sure to enjoy lean beef as part of your new low-calorie, heart-healthy diet. Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to find thousands of delicious recipes that are sure drive your weightloss goals without sacrificing fullness or flavor.