Cutting down on read meat has been a rising issue for years now. While it is healthy to cut down red meat consumption in some cases, in others, eating red meat has great benefits. It all depends on the cut of the meat, so choose wisely. Red meat is loaded with protein as well as iron and vitamin B12. So keep in mind that there are ways to stay healthy while enjoying a delicious piece of juicy red meat.
What you might not have thought about are the variety of red meat products that are not beef. The large amount of both fat and saturated fat in many cuts of red meat support the advice that we must limit consumption – no argument there. So, while many prefer a marbled porterhouse with a thick rim of fat around the outside, it’s best to save that for a special holiday or birthday celebration.
Lean protein also has an important role in weight management. Did you know that recent research supports these ideas?
- Protein can increase your sense of fullness
- Higher protein diets can produce greater weight loss compared to others
- Exercising people require more protein daily than nonexercisers
- Exercise is important for weight loss and maintenance, and protein fuels muscles
- Protein can increase mental focus, which is important in sustaining motivation)
Patients ask me all the time, “What else can I eat? I’m sick of chicken and fish! They don’t taste substantial enough!” There are some new red meat alternatives (that are actually red!) that are low in fat, low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and look and taste like beef.
For times when you just want beef, there are more than 20 lean cuts from which to choose. Both red meat and the alternates are very similar in the total amount of complete protein per serving – about 25 grams per 4 ounce serving – but vary in their fat content.
As a comparison, a 4 ounce serving of a juicy porterhouse steak (or other marbled meat with visible fat around the edge) has the same 25 grams of protein – but with a 272 calories and a whopping 20 grams of fat (that’s about one-third of recommended intake for the whole day).
Take a peek at some of the new options:
4 ounce serving = 135 calories and 2.5 grams of fat
Ostrich is one of the most recent additions to the “new red meats." Found as steaks, in ground form, and even dried jerky, it is equivalent to red meat in protein content, and has even more iron than an equivalent serving of beef. Ostrich is a bird, but unlike chicken or turkey, does not have both white and dark meat. Ostriches produce only dark red meat. Most often purchased online, some folks pay a visit for direct sale at ostrich farms, which are located throughout the U.S.