February is “I Heart Beef” month! So we want to know why YOU heart beef? Beef is considered one of the “higher” end proteins and often times considered to “expensive” for regular consumption. This in fact is not the whole truth. Some form of beef in fact can be consumed on a regular basis, even for individuals on a budget such as myself. There is a great blog out there written by a fellow advocate called Beef on a Budget (www.beefonabudget.com). This site showcases many ways to cook and consume beef for average consumers who may have a family to feed on a budget. It’s also a GREAT site for college students who don’t tend to have much money on hand. Not only are there beef recipes listed, but each is broken down by cost per serving!
Growing up on a commercial cow/calf operation, beef was regularly consumed in our house. Once I left for college I also left the home-cooked meals. Theres not much that will ever compare to “mom’s” home cooking but I had to learn to make do and cook for myself (with the help of a few friends). Though it wasn’t “mom’s” cooking I knew that beef was still going to be incorporated into my regular diet. Why do I insist on keeping beef in my diet? Well here are my reasons for celebrating “I Heart Beef” month!
- Flavor! Beef stands out of the crowd from other protein sources because of its rich flavor!
- Beef in an excellent source for protein, Selenium, B12, Zinc, Niacin, B6, Phosphorus, Iron and Riboflavin
- A 3 oz. serving of lean beef contributes less than 10% of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet.
- A 3 oz serving of lean beef provides 10% of the daily value of the nutrients listed above.
- Lastly, who doesn’t love a prime medium rare ribeye or tenderloin slightly charred on the outside!
But what about fat? Yes there is fat involved with the consumption of beef however, the good news is that it’s not all bad! There are 4 main types of fat found in beef.
- Monosaturated fat consist of half of the fatty acids found in lean beef. These are the same heart healthy fats found in olive oil.
- There is also a fraction of polyunsaturated fats that are essential for our body’s cell structure and hormone production
- Stearic Acid consists of 1/3 of the total saturated fat. This has been shown to have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels in humans.
- Other saturated fats in lean beef are at about the same levels of those found in fish and chicken.
It seems that beef not only provides a great meal as far as taste and flavor are concerned, it is a great source of vitamins and minerals that we need in our everyday diets. So now I ask you, Why do you heart beef? Leave a comment and let us know! What’s your favorite way to consume beef?