Red meat has a bad rap. The thing is, it really is good for you. Ideally, go for a cut that is both lean and grass-fed. A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that meat from grass-fed cows usually has more conjugated linoleic acid (which has been shown in animal studies to combat cancer) and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than the grain-fed variety. Plus, meat from grass-fed cows is lower in total fat and calories. As long as your serving is a lean cut, such as tenderloin, feel free to make this smart choice two or three times a week, says Jonny Bowden, PhD, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
Shopping shortcut: "Look for meat that is clearly labeled 100 percent grass-fed," Bowden says. ("Organic" doesn't guarantee the cows didn't have grain.) If your supermarket doesn't carry it, you can shop online at localharvest.org. Be sure to order cuts that have round or loin in the name, like top round or sirloin; these usually contain about eight grams of fat per three-ounce serving.
Make it even healthier: Treat your meat to a homemade rosemary and thyme rub. Studies have shown that cooking beef over high heat can spur the production of certain carcinogenic compounds, but this herb combo can cut the carcinogens by 87 percent.
Bonus benefits: Beef is a great source of protein, iron (a mineral that one in five women are deficient in), and heart-healthy B vitamins.
Try these healthy recipes:
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