Is beef bad for our health? No, but there are certainly healthier means to eat beef, so that it doesn’t deteriorate our health. Beef is a rich source of protein, selenium, zinc, iron and vitamin B. The leaner options available help in weight loss and maintaining a better cardiovascular health by keeping cholesterol levels under control. The healthier parts of beef are round steaks and the sirloin steaks. The T-bone stick may seem yummy, but is a rich source of saturated fats. Therefore, to eat a healthy beef, opt for leaner versions of beef and also keep the portion size under check. The rounder steak is less in portion size than the T-bone steak.
When cooking beef, the option of deep-frying should be eliminated. This adds lots of calories along with unhealthier forms of fat. The leaner form of beef should be purchased and the fatty portions should be trimmed, even the marinade should be prepared with the low calorie options like soya sauce, chilli sauce, or wine. To enhance the flavour, steak should be marinated and refrigerated for few hours.
A) Add spices: If beef is cooked with the healthy mix of spices, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer. The spices can range from a mix of cloves, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, black pepper and garlic powder. These spices are very healthy for the human body and they even make the food tastier without frying it.
B) Stir Fry: Rather than following a full deep frying session, one can also put the marinated steak along with the greens in a pan, using little olive or canola oil and let it be golden brown on both the sides. This method will reduce the risk of deep frying options, rather providing you the benefits of healthy form of oil and veggies.
C) Grilling: One of the healthiest and the most opted way of cooking steak is by grilling it in an oven or a bar-be-cue. It eliminates the excess fat and it can be done easily in the comfort of the home or in the open on the coal device. It can be served along with mustard or a low calorie barbecue sauce. The steak should be roasted, till it becomes golden brown and not black. Over-roasting can really harm the body due to release of the toxic compounds. Many recipes include grilling of the steak, which is really a healthy form of consuming beef.
D) Boiling: The leaner form of beef can be purchased and boiled in water to make it soft and tender. This beef can then be cut into pieces and marinated to eat just like that or can be added to salads along with sauces. One such salad is the pineapple beef salad in which the boiled chunks of beef are added with the ripe pineapple pieces along with low fat mayo, black pepper and little of salt.
E) Broiling: The difference between grilling and broiling is only the placement of the heat source. In grilling the heat source is just below the steak whereas in broiling the heat source is above the steak. The steak is placed on a broiling pan and herbs can be added to the steak and it is broiled on both the sides for 4-5 minutes depending on the heat.
There are certain harmful compounds which everyone should be aware of and try to reduce the production of such compounds by altering the methods of cooking. Some such compounds are Heterocyclic Amines which are released when the beef is cooked on high temperatures. The burnt parts which are black have the highest amounts of HCAs. Another compound is Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons which is released from the excess smoke caused by the dripping of the fat on the fire. The smoke sticks to the food and makes it unfit to consume because of the cancer creating agents. Some cooking methods also lead to Glycation End products which are caused by cooking at high temperatures. These AGEs are transferred to the body when the food is consumed leading to various types on inflammations, stress, heart problems and kidney damages.
TIPS TO REMEMBER:
- Trim the fatty portions before cooking the beef to reduce PAH levels.
- Do not put the steak directly on the coal; rather induce an indirect source of heat.
- Cook steak in smaller chunks as it is prepared in less time and takes longer to develop HCAs.
- Do not use tangy substances like lemon juice and vinegar in the preparation of steak to reduce the transfer of AGEs to the body. Rather grill it and then spray a hint of lemon juice on the top.
- Marinades help in keeping the beef soft and tender and therefore avoid the need of over grilling them. This reduces the level of HCA’s as the blackened portion is less because of the charring of the beef.
- Try to eat beef along with high antioxidant compound fruits like strawberries, cherries and blueberries. They help in prevention of release of HCAs.
The post is shared by Jason Phillips; he is a fitness freak who loves to blog on beef and other muscle building foods. His site is based on wagyu steak, a stack of information on varieties of beef available in the market. Photo by Jeremy Keith