Choosing Lean Cuts of Red Meat
One way to make healthy red meat dishes is to choose lean cuts of meat at the grocery store. Look for the words, "loin" and "round" on the labels. Some examples are sirloin, tenderloin, and ground round. Marbling may be great for enhanced flavor but it’s a sign of higher saturated fat. Marbling occurs when the animal has higher intramuscular (in the muscle) fat.
Veal is one cut of meat that is lower in saturated fat because the animal is too young to have developed intramuscular fat. Usually, the more expensive the beef, the more marbling and saturated fat it has. Saturated fat is the kind that is harmful to the heart and anyone that wants to prevent heart disease should take measures to lower this kind of fat in their diet.
Watch Your Portions
Another way to keep red meat from wreaking havoc on your healthy diet is to limit how much you eat. One serving of meat is equal to three ounces. That is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Now consider the fact that portion sizes have gotten out of control in the United States to the point that many people don’t know what a portion is anymore. Even too much of a good thing can be bad for you so remember to enjoy your red meat in moderation.
One tip for keeping your red meat portions low is to have a little red meat with your main dish instead of having a few small sides with a red meat entrée. For instance, use red meat to top your salads or to mix in with your favorite casseroles. That way you can enjoy the flavor of red meat without overdoing it.
Healthy Preparation of Red Meat
Trim the Fat:
Another method to help you make red meat healthier is to change the way you prepare it. To keep the saturated fat levels down in your meals, trim the fat off the raw red meat before you cook it. If you’re using ground meat, brown it as usual and then place it into a colander. Run hot water over the cooked ground beef to rinse and drain off any extra remaining fat.
Learn to prepare red meat for tenderness and flavor. Red meats can turn out juicy and delicious when prepared in a slow cooker, grilled, pan seared, marinated, or stewed. Be careful not to use marinades that are high in saturated fat. Flavor your red meat with herbs and spices instead of fat.
Avoid frying red meat very often, although it’s okay to enjoy fried food on occasion. After you have prepared your red meat dish, go easy on the gravy or skip it altogether and opt for au jus instead. "Au jus" is French for "with juice". This involves serving and eating meat in it’s own juice or in a beef broth on the side for dipping.
Any food, including red meat, can be a part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation so feel free to enjoy it as a part of your healthy lifestyle.