Grilling with lean beef

I am sure you’ve heard it before – eating red meat is bad for your cholesterol. Not exactly the thing we like to hear during grilling season; but there is good news for beef lovers – new research actually suggests otherwise.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that as part of a heart-healthy diet, lean cuts of beef did help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by 10 percent. Wondering how that is possible? Consider these facts:

Because of the changes in breeding and feeding of steers, beef is now 34 percent lower in total fat compared to 1963 and 17 percent lower in saturated fat since 1990.

There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for “lean.” To meet lean criteria, a 3.5-ounce, cooked portion must have less than 10 grams total fat, less than 4.5 grams saturated fat and less than 95 mg cholesterol.

When added to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, lean beef can be an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

If you are looking for ways to add flavor to lean cuts of beef, try one of these tips:

Use rubs filled with herbs and spices. Rubs will add flavor but won’t tenderize. Simply add the rub right before cooking or up to two hours in advance of cooking.

Try a marinade. I like to use the Mrs. Dash Marinades, which use the acid from fruit juices rather than salt to help tenderize the meat.

Add a sauce, pesto or a glaze to liven up the color and flavor of your steak.

When the weather isn’t cooperating for grilling, stovetop skillet cooking is ideal for cooking a tender, juicy steak. Try this skillet steak for supper!

Katie Wilhelmi, RD, LD is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee Food Store.

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