It’s the weekend. Feels like a great time for a steak: a fat, juicy, marbled, delectable piece of meat. Heart attack on a plate.
There. I said it.
“Meat.” It’s pork, lamb, and the above-referenced beef.
I grew up eating meat and probably still eat too much of it, although I have made giant strides in the past few years. That’s good, because meat is bad for me, bad for us. The results are in, and all the pro-beef lobbies in the world can’t change the facts.
Meat’s no health treat
Meat is implicated in heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and as this Harvard Health Publications blog states—as verified by two studies—it shortens our lives.
The story notes that “adding one daily serving increased the chances of dying during the study period by 13 percent.” Make that processed, and the number rises to 20 percent.
We have choices
If the thought of going “cold turkey” makes you sweat, consider that excellent alternative protein choices include:
1) turkey and chicken: Pick skinless for caloric reasons. Organic is best, without added hormones or antibiotics or worse…
2) whole grains: These also pack a powerful overall health punch. The Whole Grains Council says: Whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel. Refining normally removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25 percent of a grain’s protein is lost, along with at least 17 key nutrients.
3) fish: You can’t do without the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. Don’t buy fish with added color or farm-raised bottom-feeders, from other countries, that eat sewage. Read source labels carefully: Seafood Watch can help.
4) nuts: Watch the calories here, but most contain good omegas, vitamin E, fiber and of course, healthy fats.
5) beans (a.k.a., legumes): They’re full of fiber and so delicious, whether you choose kidney, lentils, black, white or pinto. Sauté onions, add spices and some low-sodium bouillon and you have lunch for a week.
6) dairy: Choose the low-fat varieties. I prefer Greek yogurt for its added protein and “fullness factor.”
I also take plant sterol esters and red yeast rice to control my cholesterol. They work.
I didn’t need that steak after all, did I?
(Photo courtesy: © James Hearn | Dreamstime.com)