Can You Eat Beef When You’re Trying To Lose Weight?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Beef Dish
By Toby Amidor, MS, RD

This post is part of my role as a member of the Beef Expert Bureau. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Many folks ask me if they can include red meat, including beef, in their weight loss meal plan. With all the myths floating around regarding food in general, it’s a legitimate question. I discuss common food myths in much of my writing in national publications and media interviews. As a registered dietitian (RD), I want to explain facts out and debunk the myths. As for including beef in a weight loss plan, a new study published last month in Obesity Science & Practice examined this exact question.

The Study
The Beef WISE Study sought to determine the impact of a higher-protein diet that includes beef on weight, lean muscle mass, heart health, and diet satisfaction. Participants were divided into two groups and followed a 16-week three phase higher-protein weight loss program. One group was the beef group and was instructed to eat at least 4 servings of lean beef per week, while the non-beef group did not eat any red meat. The study found that both groups lost the same amount of weight. The researchers concluded that lean beef is just as effective as other protein choices to help achieve important health goals such as weight loss while maintaining muscle mass and supporting a healthy heart, as part of a healthy lifestyle plan that included exercise.

What’s a Beef-Lover to Do?
You can enjoy lean cuts of beef in your healthy, well-balanced weight loss plan. Due to increased trimming practices over the last 30 years, there are more lean cuts of beef than ever! The different cuts can get confusing, even for me, and that’s why I turn to the BeefItsWhatsForDinner website to help me pinpoint lean cuts and the best way of cooking them. The website also has many healthy, delicious recipes including this Beef, Mango & Barley Salad (recipe below).

Beef Mango and Barley Salad

Beef, Mango & Barley Salad
Total recipe time: 1½ hours
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
1 beef Tri-Tip Roast (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 medium mangoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 large Boston lettuce leaves (optional)

Instructions
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place bell peppers on metal baking sheet; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Press 1 teaspoon paprika evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 425°F oven 30 to 40 minutes for medium rare; 40 to 50 minutes for medium doneness. Roast bell peppers in oven with beef about 30 minutes or until tender. Set peppers aside to cool.
3. Remove roast when instant-read thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 20-25 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.)
4. Meanwhile, cook barley according to package directions. Set aside to cool slightly.
5. Cut beef into 1/2 inch pieces; season with salt and black pepper. Whisk lime juice, oil and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in small bowl until blended. Toss with beef, barley, roasted peppers, mangoes, green onions and cilantro in large bowl. Serve in Boston lettuce leaves, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 309 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 60 mg cholesterol; 246 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 4.3 g fiber; 26 g protein; 8.4 mg niacin; 0.8 mg vitamin B6; 1.3 mcg vitamin B12; 2.3 mg iron; 27 mcg selenium; 4.7 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber and iron.

Recipe and photo as seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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