Beef is tops in nutrition according to extension agent
May is a month of celebrations — Mother’s Day, graduations, Memorial Day — but it also is celebrated as National Beef Month.
People who eat meat regularly are doing themselves a service because red meat is ranked as one of the most nutritious foods that exist. It has many essential nutrients that impact health.
According to information obtained from Family and Consumer Sciences extension agent Tristen Cope, a 3 oz. serving of lean beef, about the size of a deck of cards, contains 10 essential nutrients including half of the daily protein requirement and 150 calories.
Other nutrients and their benefits are: iron, helps the body use oxygen; choline, supports nervous system development; selenium, helps protect cells from damage; vitamins B6 and B12, maintain brain function; zinc, maintains a healthy immune system; phosphorus, builds bones and teeth; niacin, supports energy production and metabolism; and riboflavin, converts food into fuel.
To be labeled lean, beef cuts must have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3½ oz. cooked serving.
Popular lean cuts include top sirloin steak, strip steak, tenderloin steak, and 95-percent lean ground beef. Some cuts are as lean as a 3 oz. serving of skinless chicken thigh. Round or chuck roasts also are lean.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines recommends that adults eat 5½ ounces of protein per day.
Two fact sheets about beef, “Beef Choices, Preparation and Flavor,” and “Meat Product Labeling and Marketing,” produced by K-State Research and Extension, are available at the county extension office in Marion.
Last modified May 17, 2018