News Room: ENQUIRER: Steak night? Choose healthy cuts and portions
By: Toni Schklar
It is important to think of red meat as an occasional protein source, not a main source. People who are choosing to manage cholesterol in their diet will benefit from these tips:
- When eating out, select lean cuts that are baked, broiled, roasted or stir fried so the fat drips away.
- Make the butcher your new best friend. Tell the butcher what you plan to cook and seek guidance in selecting the leanest cut for the intended meal. Extra lean cuts of beef should have no more than 15% fat.
- Ask the butcher to confirm that no antibiotics have been used in raising the beef.
- Seek free-range or grass-fed beef (raised primarily on forage rather than in a feedlot).
- The American Heart Association recommends that all meat be lean (round, sirloin, chuck, or loin) cuts, and “Choice” or “Select” grades of beef rather than “Prime.” Ground beef should be “lean” or “extra lean” (no more than 15% fat).
- Use the palm of your hand or a deck of cards as a healthy serving size comparison. This equals 3-4 ounces of meat. (Most restaurant portions exceed the recommended American Heart Association portion. Simply ask for a “doggie bag” and take the rest home for Fido (or yourself) for a future meal.)
- Adding a side dish of healthy salad or fresh vegetables assists the body in processing the fat from meat in a healthy way.
Note: Organ meats are very high in cholesterol and a small serving (3 ounces) is OK about once a month. It is important to state that organ meats can come from beef (or any animal) and be mixed with other portions of meat (most common in hot dogs and sausage).