Thursday, December 19, 2013

Have Your Steak and Eat It Too

All beef is not created equal; in fact organic free-roaming grass-fed beef has many heart-healthy benefits and has a place in a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Typical cattle is fed a diet of grains leading to rapid weight gain and fattier meat. Cows are fed antibiotics or growth enhancers, and living conditions are overcrowded and inhumane to say the least.

Organic free-roaming grass fed cattle does not receive antibiotics, growth enhancers, or other byproducts. The cows graze on grass in a pasture and produce much leaner meat, about 1/3 less fat than regular cows. The environmental impact is much more favorable and ethical issues such as living conditions and quality of life are a primary focus.
Less fatty beef means lower saturated fat content, the “bad fat” that can lead to heart disease. Grass fed beef has an added benefit of being high in omega-3 fatty acids, a heart healthy fat that is essential for your brain and may even reduce cancer risks. It is estimated grass-fed beef has 2-6 times more omega-3’s than regular beef.

The ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be close to 1:1 in grass-fed beef. Regular beef has over 10:1 ratio which is believed to add inflammation and stress to the body. Organic free-roaming grass-fed beef is also believed to be higher in antioxidants, especially vitamin E. It is estimated grass-fed beef is 2-4 times higher in vitamin E than regular beef.
When you go to the grocery store you will notice grass-fed beef is sometimes darker in color than regular beef, and has much less marbling, or visible fat. Taste wise grass-fed beef has a stronger taste and a more intricate flavor profile. Cost wise you will be spending considerable more money on organic free-roaming grass-fed beef.

Overall beef is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, zinc, and selenium. When consumed in moderation organic free-roaming grass-fed beef can be an excellent addition to your healthy diet with many health benefits.

Healthy Steak
2-4oz Organic free-roaming grass-fed beef
Salt and pepper

Spray a grill pan with a small amount of oil and heat over medium heat. Season the beef with a small amount of salt and pepper. If you are watching your salt intake just season with pepper. Cook until steak reached your desired doneness.

Steamed Asparagus
Place water in a pot and set a steam basket overtop. Heat pot over medium-high heat until water is boiling. Add asparagus and cover the pot with a lid. Steam until asparagus is tender, about 6-8 minutes.  

Healthy Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2lbs potatoes, cut into cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup nonfat milk
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot combine potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Once fully cooked drain broth and add garlic and milk. Mash the potatoes, adding more milk if needed until potatoes are fluffy. Finish with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. For those watching their sodium simply omit the added  salt and switch to no sodium broth.

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