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July is Beef Month

Elizabeth Hall, Community Contributor • Jul 24, 2019 at 4:30 PM

July is Beef Month in Tennessee! You might think that red meats like beef can’t fit into a healthy lifestyle, but they can. Beef is actually an excellent source of protein and provides 10 different essential nutrients including B vitamins, zinc and iron. These nutrients are important throughout life for strength and growth. Here are some reasons to add beef to your plate this summer and throughout the year:

PROTEIN

Of course, it’s no shocker that beef is rich in high-quality protein. In just 3 ounces of beef, you can get 25 grams of protein, which is 50 percent of the daily value. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building block for muscles, bones, skin and blood. It is also important for weight management and improving body composition by building muscle mass. Plus, a little protein with your meal can help to satisfy your appetite and balance blood sugars as well.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Among the micronutrients found in beef are vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, choline, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, niacin and riboflavin. Specifically, the type of iron found in beef is called heme-iron, which more bioavailable than iron found in vegetable sources.

GO FOR LEAN

We say to choose lean beef when possible, but what does “lean” mean? For a protein to be considered lean, the protein must contain less than 10 grams of total fat, less than 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams. A 3 ounce serving of lean beef fits this criteria and is still only 170 calories. When looking for cuts of lean beef at the grocery store, look for the words “round” or “loin” on the package. Cuts such as top sirloin, strip steak and tenderloin steak are all great options.

If you are eating for heart health, lean beef can still be a part of the picture. Look for the American Heart Association Certified check mark for options that are good for you and your heart. Check out foodcity.com for a variety of recipes including delicious and healthy lean beef!

Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

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