Facts about Red Meat

The Following blog is based on an article published by WebMD in 2009.  It highlights some general facts about consumption of red meat.  According to WebMD, while there are risks associated with consuming excessive processed and red meat there are some benefits to lean red meat, when consumed in moderation.  For additional information, please check out http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-red-meat.

Here are a few facts:

1. Are there nutritional benefits from eating red meat?

A: Red meat is high in iron, something many teenage girls and women in their childbearing years are lacking. The heme iron in red meat is easily absorbed by the body. Red meat also supplies vitamin B12, which helps make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy, and zinc, which keeps the immune system working properly.

Red meat provides protein, which helps build bones and muscles.

2. How much red meat should I eat?

A: Opinions differ here, too. Most of the nutritionists that WebMD contacted suggested focusing on sensible portion sizes and lean red meat cuts, for those who choose to eat it.  Ask yourself these questions, recommends Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, professo

r of nutrition at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

  • Are you taking in more calories than you’re burning off?
  • Is red meat crowding out foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains?

“People don’t need to give up red meat,” says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, a nutrition professor at Georgia State University. “They need to make better selections in the type of meat they eat and the portions.”

3. What are some of the leanest cuts of red meat?

A: For the best red meat cuts, look for those with “loin” in the name: Sirloin tip steak, top sirloin, pork tenderloin, lamb loin chops.

  • Beef: Also look for round steaks and roasts, such as eye round and bottom round; chuck shoulder steaks; filet mignon; flank steak; and arm roasts. Choose ground beef labeled at least 95% lean. Frozen burger patties may contain as much as 50% fat; check the nutrition facts box. Some grilling favorites are high in fat: hot dogs, rib eyes, flat iron steaks, and some parts of the brisket (the flat half is considered lean).
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