When you think of typical American unhealthy food, a burger might come to mind. So you may be surprised to learn about the many health benefits of beef!

Often, it's actually what we have with burgers (fatty sauces and bacon, sugary buns, processed cheese) that are the culprit of their so-called unhealthiness rather than their meaty centerpiece.

However, it is true that beef has a high saturated fat content, which can sometimes raise the risk of heart disease. You can minimize your health risk by using lean cuts, picking grass-fed beef over grain-fed, watching your portion sizes (best to stick to 3 oz), and avoiding processed varieties like sausages and hot dogs.

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Beef provides you with iron that reduces the risk of anemia, which is especially common in women of childbearing age. Beef also boasts a variety of b-vitamins, Vitamin D, potassium, zinc, magnesium, glutathione, creatine. and, of course, tons of protein! It also contains carnosine and fatty acids, both of which can work to reduce inflammation.

Finally, beef contains 10 times more L-carnitine than is found in chicken, and L-carnitine is much easier for our bodies to absorb from beef than from supplements. This amino acid is used by our bodies to metabolize and burn fat, and it also fights hypertension and oxidative stress. L-carnitine has even been associated with reduced mortality in heart failure patients!

Here are some healthy ways to indulge your meat-loving side!

Vegetable Beef Soup

Ingredients

  • 100 grams lean beef cubed
  • Celery, cabbage, or tomato diced
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (or substitute 1 cup water for 1 cup of broth)
  • 1 tablespoon onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine onion, garlic and spices with beef broth. Add celery and diced beef. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Makes 1 serving (1 protein, 1 vegetable).

Phase 3 modifications

Add additional vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, or a small amount of chopped carrots.

Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 100 grams Ground beef (lean) for each serving
  • 1 serving Melba toast crumbs
  • 1 ketchup recipe
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Crush Melba toast into fine powder. Mix with the ground beef, chopped onion, and spices. Place in a baking dish, loaf pan or muffin tin for single servings. Baste with ketchup recipe mixture and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Cook longer for multiple servings using a loaf pan.

Ground Beef Tacos

Ingredients

  • 100 grams lean ground beef
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of finely minced onion
  • 1 clove crushed and minced garlic
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Fresh chopped cilantro to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Brown ground beef. Add onion, garlic, and spices and a little water and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve taco style in butter lettuce or romaine leaf mock tortillas or with a side of tomatoes or salsa. Makes 1 serving (1 protein, 1 vegetable).

Phase 3 modifications

Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream and guacamole.

Hamburgers

Ingredients

  • 100 grams lean ground hamburger (less than 7% fat)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Mix ingredients thoroughly and form into patties (2-3). Fry in small frying pan until desired level of doneness or grill on the barbeque. If using frying pan add small amounts of water and deglaze pan to intensify flavors. Cook approximately 3 minutes each side or to desired level of doneness.

Variations

Add stevia, lemon juice, and Bragg’s liquid aminos to create a slight teriyaki flavor or top with caramelized onion garnish. Also try lean buffalo or bison meat. Makes 1 serving (1 protein).

Phase 3 modifications

Add crumbled gorgonzola cheese to the hamburger meat before cooking. Top cooked hamburgers with Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms or top with chili and cheese.

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