It’s week three of our “Beef and the Heart” guest blog series. Audrey Monroe, RD, LD, is the director of nutrition for the Kansas Beef Council. Audrey works every day to educate people about the importance of beef in an active, healthy lifestyle. And, we all know a good communicator with a lot of passion can get her point across well! You’ll see, just read!
See our first two blog posts of the series here:
Beef and the Heart: Raising cattle and a family
Beef and the Heart: A Family of Strong Hearts
Red meat has received a bad reputation over the years – especially when it comes to heart health. But a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating beef every day can actually improve cholesterol levels.
The study, Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study (BOLD): Effects on Lipids, Lipoproteins and Apolipoproteins, found that diets including lean beef every day are as effective in lowering total and LDL “bad” cholesterol as the gold standard of heart-healthy diets (DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Pennsylvania State University researchers evaluated adults with moderately elevated cholesterol levels, measuring the impact of diets including varying amounts of lean beef on total and LDL cholesterol levels. Study participants experienced a 10 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol from the start of the study, while consuming diets containing 4 and 5.4 oz. of lean beef daily.
The bottom line? When eaten as part of a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins), 4-5.4 oz. of lean beef daily can help improve heart disease risk factors. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, including some of my favorites like sirloin, tenderloin and the tri-tip. I love to pair these lean beef cuts with in-season fruits and vegetables.
A recipe, to you, from me
If you are like me and have a packed week ahead, try one of my favorite stew recipes, Beef and Barley Stew. Instead of using the dutch oven, simply brown the meat and add everything to your slow cooker. Set to “low,” and 6-8 hours later (test the sweet potatoes and barley for doneness), you will have a healthy, delicious meal packed with vegetables, lean beef and whole grains, for the whole family.
- 2 pounds extra lean beef stew meat, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 5 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks*
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks*
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roma tomatoes
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup medium barley
- 1 cup frozen peas
1. Season meat to taste with pepper and thoroughly coat with flour. In a 6-quart nonstick Dutch oven coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook meat over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion and garlic, sauteing for several more minutes. Add carrots, parsley, and thyme; saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and water and bring to a boil, scraping bottom of the pan.
3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and barley. Return to boiling; reduce heat and continue cooking, covered, over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Add peas, stirring for one minute.
Calories 349, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Sodium 482 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Total Sugar 6 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 33 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 23%, Calcium 5%, Iron 22%. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Find more recipes at MoBeef.org and BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Find more information on the BOLD study at MoBeef.org and Beef Nutrition.org.