Healthy Eating for Women

Lean On Beef

Lean beef is high in protein, iron and B-vitamins, and it can help build muscles. Here's how to eat this muscle food to help you stay trim.

When your goal is to reduce body fat, you know you have to cut calorie intake. But you may not realize that you also need to increase your intake of protein and maintain a reasonable level of dietary fat consumption so you don’t lose lean muscle tissue instead of body fat. You can do that by adding beef to your fat-loss program.

Here are Oxygen’s tips it into your diet.

Get cut by choosing beef. Almost all forms of beef are low or devoid of carb calories, and that’s important for reducing body fat. Beef helps keep insulin release in check, and this hormone drives calories (particularly carbs) toward body-fat storage. Virtually all forms of beef are without carbs unless they’ve been infused through processing — so avoid processed forms of beef, choosing whole cuts or ground beef with no extras added.

Go grass-fed and organic. While all forms of quality beef cuts contain virtually only fats and protein, it’s well-established that grass-fed beef contains much higher amounts of omega-3 fats than beef raised on feedlots. Omega-3s are healthy fats that are otherwise low in American diets, making grass-fed beef important for the quality of fats, in addition to other benefits. Organic foods are grown without synthetic methods, so they are much lower in chemical content from pesticides and non-organic fertilizers.

Beef up your diet. The key to choosing a cut of beef depends on many factors, including price. These are among the leanest cuts that are available. Of particular, note that filet mignon (tenderloin) has fewer calories in both the grain- and grass-fed forms. The grass-fed is higher in calories because it contains more protein and omega-3s for the same amount of fat. Also, hamburger is not a bad diet choice when you choose lean or extra-lean versions.