In some countries, just like in the United States many articles profess warning that eating red meat can shorten your life. We have decided to dig into the studies published and find out what is the real “beef.”
First let’s look at why red meat could be beneficial to your diet:
Animal protein contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to obtain proper nutrients. Our body can produce its own proteins but the essential amino acids can only be obtained from food. The content of essential amino acids in the red meat does not make it a crucial food to eat. The proteins may be derived from plant foods too. Legumes, grains and nuts contain a good amount of protein. The combination of legumes and grains can provide the body with all of the essential amino acids. Excess protein causes intoxication. Recent studies show that protein intake above the recommended standards (150 g daily) were greatly exaggerated. Today officially recognized norm of 30-45 g often leads to an increased consumption of the amount of protein that causes intoxication – poisoning food protein breakdown.
The Medical Faculty of Harvard has published a detailed slander on the food we choose to eat every day. They argue that a juicy steak, a rack of lamb and delicious pork chops inevitably will kill you. The study lasted 28 years, was attended by 128,000 people, and all this for a disappointing conclusion: the daily consumption of unprocessed (ie – not milled in sausages or pate) red meat can increases the risk of an early death by 13%. And in addition to a steak, if you like to treat yourself to bacon, or sausage the percentage of risk of an early death goes up to and alarming number of 20%.
But what about the fact of beef containing iron, zinc, B vitamins and being an essential amino acid when it comes to building muscle? Here is the good news:
- A heart attack is not as big of a threat if you eat a variety of foods and a majority of your calories do not come from red meat.
The consumption of animal food in the United States had come out to such a level that an average American (including infants and vegetarians) have an average of 85 grams of red meat per day. A safe level, as recognized by scientists is no more than 70 grams. So it is rather simple to understand that all you have to do is control the amount of red meat. Moderation and variety are the two key words in a healthy lifestyle.
2. Eat as much as you want but not every day.
But not every day, if you want it to go well for you
“The World Cancer Research Fund encourages you to have no more than 500 grams of red meat a week,” – says nutritionist Sarah Schenker (UK). Let's count: a small steak (227 g) pork chop (113 g), 2 pork sausage 50 g and a couple meatballs (60 grams) is enough for one week.
“If you eat a big steak, it does not mean that it is now necessary to preach vegetarianism for the rest of the week”, – says Schenker – just take a break for a day or two with chicken or fish.”
Recommended is to consume about 500 g of cooked meat per week. To prepare this much, you will need about 600-700 g of raw meat.
3. Yes, red meat has a lot of saturated fat, but it gives us 20 minutes plus a sharp knife – and there are no fat problems. Red meat is not the leanest product but chicken, turkey and fish are great for that. An average ribeye steak from the chuck portion of the cow, for example, contains 37 grams of fat (about 300 g of meat), of which 15 grams is saturated.
When possible choose lean cuts of meat: filet mignon is the leanest and most tender cut of meat.
If you want to lose a few pounds remove all visible fat before cooking. Throw a piece of meat into the freezer for about 20 minutes, the hardened white stripes will be easier to handle.
Remember that saturated fat is located on the outer parts of beef – it is the white patches and stripes on a red piece of flesh. Fat inside the piece, those “marble” veins is not so dangerous.
4. The most delicious meat is not the freshest
Have it sit a little while in the fridge and it will be tastier, and even healthier for you.
The taste of any dish is a complex combination of chemical elements. Hundreds of components contribute to the aroma and flavor of the meat. Moreover, the optimal combination occurs when fresh beef ‘ripens' – the best pieces are kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of about 0 degrees for at least 10 days. During this time, the meat muscles “relax” and it becomes softer, but due to the outbreak of the fermentation it also fully reveals its taste.
5. Cooking pans should not be red-hot. And do not go overboard with butter, if you are trying to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. Remember: hot without scorching. So it will be healthier and still cook the meat.
Use the grill when possible and choose extra virgin olive oil, which is one of the least harmful to your body when it comes to saturated fats. Better yet, spray the steak on both sides with oil before cooking, rather than filling the pan with it.
Tip: To make sure that the pan is not overheated, sprinkle it with water. If the water is bubbling – it is time to lay the meat. And if immediately converted into steam- it means the pan is overheated.
Here is a delicious recipe for a well prepared steak!
Flank Steak with Tomatoes
Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 194 per serving
1 ¼ tsp. ground cumin
¾ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. ground red pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil cooking spray
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Begin by preheating the broiler.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of the cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, red pepper and sprinkle it over the steak.
- Spray a broiler pan with Olive oil cooking spray then place the trimmed of fat flank steak with seasoning in the pan to broil for about 10 minutes. Turn once and make sure it is cooked to the proper doneness.
- Cut the steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
- Take a large nonstick skillet and heat oil in it over medium heat.
- Add some garlic and jalapeno into the pan and allow it to cook for 1 minute.
- Toss the remaining ¼ teaspoon of cumin and salt along with the tomatoes into the pan.
- Allow the tomatoes to soften for 3 minutes, remove them from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
- Serve this topping with the steak.Enjoy and be healthy!