Can beef be a part of your heart healthy diet?
By Roy Kim, Aug 14 2015
Heart health is a major concern. Every year it is estimated that about 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack and another 600,000 die from heart disease. It’s no question that maintaining a healthy heart is important as it is the #1 killer for both men and women.
There is plenty of literature linking red meat consumption to an increased risk of heart disease, but recent studies have revealed that this may not be true bringing up the question - can you eat beef as part of your heart-healthy diet?
The American Heart Association thinks so. They have added extra-lean cuts of beef to their list of certified foods as a part of an overall healthy dietary program and have displayed the Heart-Check mark on some cuts.
Not All Meat is Created Equal
People used to think that because red meat was high in cholesterol and saturated fat that those who were concerned about their heart health could not eat it. But a recent study showed that doubling or even nearly tripling saturated fat in the diet does not drive up total levels of saturated fat in the blood. However, eating large amounts of carbohydrate-dense foods in the same study showed an increase in a risk for heart disease.
According to the study published in the journal, Natural Medicine what causes the negative effects of eating red meat is not due to its saturated fat content or cholesterol levels. It’s actually a result of a compound called L-carnitine. This amino acid converts into another compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) – a substance shown to cause atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque inside the arteries).
The Beefy Bottom Line
Most people don’t know that there are heart healthy beef options, like grass fed beef jerky. While the American Heart Association does certify some cuts (Extra Lean Ground Beef (96% lean, 4% fat), Bottom Round Steak (USDA Select grade), Sirloin Tip Steak (USDA Select grade) and others) there is one way to make beef a staple on your menu without having to worry about cardiovascular risks.
Grass Fed Glory
Grass fed beef jerky has been shown to contain more essential fatty acids (EFAs) than grain fed beef products and also contains less total fat. The content of omega-3 EFAs in grass fed beef jerky has been shown to promote a healthy heart and provide a myriad of other benefits. Grass fed beef jerky contains lower levels of dietary cholesterol and larger amounts of health promoting vitamins A and E, along with antioxidants.
And Then There’s the Taste…
When it comes to the flavor profile of beef you really can’t deny that it’s downright delicious. But have you taken a good look at your food labels lately? If your beef cuts don’t read “grass-feed” you can count on a weaker flavor and possibly more brutal slaughterhouse practices.
Are you hunting for high-quality Paleo snacks that you can conveniently carry with you on-the-go? Look no further than Chomps! They’re Whole30 approved, gluten free and made from 100% grass fed beef.One taste and we know you’ll love ‘em!