Research shows that beef is a vital source of protein, iron and many other important nutrients that sustain a healthy diet. In fact, calorie-for-calorie it is one of the most nutrient-rich foods to fuel an active and healthy lifestyle. Here are some interesting facts on the healthy benefits of beef:
- There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, including consumer favorites like Tenderloin, T-Bone and 95% lean Ground Beef.
- USDA defines "lean" as less than 10 grams of total fat per 3-ounce serving.
- Lean cuts of beef have 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol (per 3-ounce serving).
- Additionally, 20 of the 29 lean beef cuts have, on average, only 1 more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast per 3-ounce serving. Discover which cuts of meat are certified lean.
- Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich food, helping you get more nutrition from the calories you take in.
- Beef has 8 times more vitamin B12, 6 times more zinc and 2.5 times more iron than a skinless chicken breast.
- A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10% of the calories in a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.
- A substantial body of evidence shows protein can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity — all of which play an important role in a healthful lifestyle and disease prevention.
- The cut of beef with the lowest amount of calories, saturated fat and total fat is the eye round roast and steak, with only 144 calories, 1.4 grams of saturated fat and 4 total grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving.
A brief discussion on the cuts:
Meat is basically muscle, and the chuck happens to be a heavily exercised area. Luckily, this area contains a great deal of connective tissue, including collagen. Collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cuts from this area benefit from slow, wet cooking methods like stewing, braising or pot-roasting.
7 Roast—an inexpensive cut which lies next to the ribs; more tender than most chuck; makes an excellent roast.
This area boasts extremely tender cuts and can be prepared without the aid of moist heat or long cooking times. Cuts from the short loin may be sautéed, pan fried, broiled, pan broiled or grilled.
T-bone Steak - Cut from the middle section of the short loin; similar to the porterhouse steak; has a smaller piece of the tenderloin; usually grilled or pan-fried
Tenderloin—often considered the most tender cut of beef; responds well to sauces, meaning the meat does not overpower the flavor of the sauce. It can be cut as the whole strip, or into individual steaks for filet mignon
Sirloin - These tender cuts respond well to sautéing, pan-frying, broiling, pan-broiling or grilling.
Sirloin Tip Roast — excellent when dry roasted or marinated
Tender and flavorful ribs can be cooked any number of ways. Most recipes call for ribs to be roasted, sauteed, pan-fried, broiled, or grilled.
Rib Roast—known as a standing rib roast (bone left in), or without the bone for convenient slicing. Excellent when dry roasted. A seven-bone prime rib roast can be quite a hefty addition to the dinner table. It is great for a crowd, but for a small family a bone roast will do. Many butchers will cut a roast to order for you
Rib Steak—also cut from the rib section, these tender steaks can be purchased bone-in (club steak) or as boneless rib-eye.
This meat is lean, muscular and very flavorful. Flank is primarily used for flank steaks and rolled flank steaks. It can also be used for kabobs and fajita meat.
Flank Steak—this steak has a great flavor, and should be sliced thin against the grain for maximum chewability. Use to make the classic London broil and fajitas.
This section is best used for stew meat, where its rich, beefy flavor can be appreciated.
The round consists of lean meat well-suited to long, moist cooking methods.
Top Round—this is the most tender part of the round; it can be prepared as pot roast or cut into thick steaks for braised dishes.
Rump Roast—a very popular cut for pot roast, but can also be roasted at low temperatures
Shank/Brisket - Traditionally used for corned beef, brisket is best prepared with moist heat. Suitable preparation methods include stewing, braising and pot-roasting.
Foreshank— excellent stew meat
Brisket — fork tender and succulent, a pot roast made with this cut is mouthwatering.