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What's for Dinner?
By Kim Paolino

The Beef with Beef

America's favorite dinner stand-by, beef, has gotten a bad rap over the past two decades because of its allegedly high fat content. But according to The American Dietetic Association, completely eliminating fat from your diet is not a good idea. Fat is an essential nutrient needed for energy and the transportation of fat-soluble vitamins.

But in spite of this information, more and more people are choosing the latest trend in lean red meat, Ostrich. A tender and flavorful meat, Ostrich is similar in taste, texture and appearance to beef -- but due to its low fat content, has only half the calories!

The lower cholesterol level of this red-meat-lovers� alternative, makes it an obvious choice for your heart and cardiovascular system. This premier red meat is easy to prepare, and makes a healthy (and tasty) substitute on almost any menu.

Before you decide to run out to your local butcher and load up on Ostrich, let�s take a look at the old reliable, what�s-for-dinner meat --Beef.

Throw Out Your One-a-Day

The list of nutrients in beef reads like the label on your favorite multi-vitamin jar. From zinc (which helps boost the immune system), to phosphorous (necessary for strong bones and teeth), and protein (responsible for building a strong and muscular body), all are abundant in beef.

Did you know that one serving of lean beef contains only 6.4 grams of fat, and there a several cuts of beef that are even lower in fat than a skinless chicken thigh? And let�s not forget the incredible taste of a juicy burger, tender sirloin steak, or a steaming bowl of hot chili.

In addition, beef contains large quantities of many B-complex vitamins that help to produce energy in the cells of the body, as well as the vital mineral, iron. Iron aids in delivering oxygen to the muscles and cells, thus providing you with the energy needed to get through your busy day.

When it comes to beef, the important thing to remember is MODERATION, keeping portions small (limit serving sizes to 3 to 6 ounces), and avoiding that one pound steak.

No Bull

So just when you think you've made up your mind on beef or ostrich, let's serve up another tasty alternative, Buffalo, also known as Bison Meat.

This heart healthy variation, also low in cholesterol and fat, is a great source of protein (35% more protein than beef), and another health-conscious, rich tasting choice of red meat. Tender and flavorful, buffalo has fewer calories and less cholesterol than that stick in the mud, ostrich.

Buffalo is considered a nutrient dense beef alternative because of its high proportion of protein, vitamins, and minerals as compared to its caloric content. Being high in iron, moderate in zinc, and low in sodium, makes this sweet flavored meat an excellent choice for those of us who are looking to maintain a low fat, heart healthy diet.

Choices, Choices, Choices

Taking care of our hearts while trying to maintain a healthy body weight are issues of serious concern. But there are choices you can make that will expand your menu options, allowing you to eat smart without sacrificing taste. Read and learn more about what you're eating, and make informed choices on what's right for you. Good luck in your selections.

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Advice found on this website is meant for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice for dealing with a given problem. Always use common sense when exercising, and see your doctor for any, and all serious medical conditions.