Animal fats and proteins are now considered health foods by many nutrition experts. Find out how the rising star, beef, is getting some positive media attention in health circles this week.
With all of the negative hoopla surrounding beef in the diet, it’s great to see that perceptions are changing about how beef can be a powerful protein source to incorporate into your life. Consumers are now reading more about beef as a health food. Out with the old plain chicken breast and in with the “new” and trendy beef! Here are three ways people are loving beef this week.
1. “8 Fatty Foods With Health Benefits,” by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D. & Adam Campbell for Men’s Health
When we hear “fatty foods,” we’ve been indoctrinated to think they are off-limits, bad for our health and once-in-awhile indulgences. Studies now show that fatty foods are actually beneficial to our health. Here is what Volek and Campbell have to say about beef as a fatty, healthy food:
“Most people consider turkey, chicken, and fish healthy, yet think they should avoid red meat—or only choose very lean cuts—since they've always been told that it's high in saturated fat.
“But there are two problems in that thinking. The first problem is that almost half of the fat in beef is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that's found in olive oil. Second, most of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.
“And besides being one of the most available sources of high-quality protein, beef also provides many important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. So the idea that beef is bad for you couldn't be further from the truth.”
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2. “5 Signs You Should Be Eating More Protein,” by Laura Tedesco for ABC News
There are many signs you are short on protein -- thinning hair, fatigue, cravings for sweets, brain fog, weakness, and getting sick easily. And although the article doesn’t come right out and say it, adding a little extra beef to the diet can cure what ails you. When I think of adding protein, I think of eating beef!
She writes, “The Paleo Diet. Protein powder. Half-pound burgers. In case you haven't noticed, our culture has become obsessed with consuming protein—which means few of us are skimping on the stuff.
"'We aren't known as a country that's low in protein,’ says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., author of The Flexitarian Diet. ‘These days, most of the hot fad diets are very pro-protein. But despite our national preoccupation with protein, some of us are still slipping through the cracks—namely vegetarians or people who tend to under-eat,’ says Blatner.
3. “Surprise?! Saturated Fat May Not Be As Bad As We Were Led to Believe” featured on Facts About Beef
“We’ve reduced our saturated fat intake by 11% over the past 30 years while at the same time increasing carbohydrate consumption by 25%. In practical terms, that means we’re eating less meat and more pasta. Diets high in carbohydrates, regardless of whether they are refined or unrefined, have been shown to worsen outcomes for heart disease, diabetes and obesity, than diets higher in fat and low in carbohydrates,” says Nina Teicholz, in an interview about her new book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.”
While Nina Teicholz may be making waves by going against USDA MyPlate guidelines and recommending more animal fats and proteins and fewer carbs, her practical advice is good news for beef producers, who may see a rise in domestic beef demand as a result of this new wave of health-conscious eaters wanting more beef in their diets.
Teicholz recommends, “In my opinion, based on my research, people should not be afraid to eat meat, cheese and eggs. Proteins, such as food from animals, are extremely dense in essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients, such as vitamins B12, iron and selenium, are hard if not impossible to obtain in plant foods, and the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, are only properly absorbed when consumed with fat that naturally accompanies them. Animal foods are therefore excellent, natural packages of protein, fat and nutrients. We should not be avoiding these foods based on our long-standing fear of saturated fats, but should instead feel free to incorporate them into an overall healthy diet.”
What do you think about this week’s beef headlines? How are you enjoying beef as a health food today? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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