Butcher’s Block: healthy options

By easyFood

01 August 2018

What questions should people be asking for healthy meat?

It depends what their definition of healthy is. In January, most people want to eat lean, low-fat meat. If this is true for you, then ask how lean a piece of meat is and how high the protein content is. Our biggest sellers then are probably turkey steak and turkey burgers, as these are very lean with high levels of protein.

Are there health benefits to eating meat?

Quality protein is probably the biggest benefit. Essential amino acids are proteins that must be obtained through diet, as our bodies cannot produce them. While plenty of plant sources contain significant protein levels, they are not considered “complete” as they lack one or more of these amino acids. Animal-based protein sources are considered to be complete sources of protein because they contain all of the essential amino acids. Meat also contains valuable vitamins, including B12 and D, as well as minerals such as zinc and selenium. Heme-iron is the type of iron predominantly found in meat, especially red meat. It is more easily absorbed into the body than the non-heme iron found in plant foods.

What is the best choice for some one who is trying to increase his/her protein intake?

As I mentioned, turkey is a fantastic choice for this, as is chicken. Lean beef is also a great low-fat source of protein.

I’m trying to reduce the amount of red meat in my diet. What can I use instead of mince?

It’s easy to swap in different types of mince when it comes to most recipes. If you’re cutting down on red meat, the obvious choices would be chicken or turkey mince.

Are turkey rashers better for me than regular pork rashers?

Yes; they’re usually 99% lean and so contain significantly less fat. Look for dry cure turkey rashers, which also contain less salt.

Is lean meat always better than meat with a higher fat content?

Not necessarily; it depends on your dietary requirements and what you’re planning on doing with the meat. Meat with a higher fat content will be more flavoursome. Keeping a reasonable fat content is important when making burgers, as those made with very lean meat will be dry and tasteless. Remember that some of the fat found in meat is of the monounsaturated variety, the same heart-healthy kind found in olive oil.

When and why is fat still important?

It is crucial to maintain some level of fat in your diet. It is the most powerful food-based energy source, providing more than twice as much as proteins or carbs. Because calories from carbs are quickly burned within the first 20 minutes of exercise your body relies on fat stores for energy. It helps in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, allows for the regulation of body temperature, and plays roles in brain development, blood clotting and the management of inflammation.

Are some cooking methods healthier than others?

Grilling is a great way to cook foods like rashers and sausages. If you’re frying meat, use rapeseed oil, which has numerous health benefits and a high smoke point.