Healthy diet not reserved for vegetarians
Published: May 09, 2012
Dietary fats are found in protein sources of both animal and plant origin. Fatty acids in fats are categorized as saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated and fats contain a mixture of these fatty acids.
Most fats that have a high percentage of saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature and are referred to as solid fats. Those containing more unsaturated fatty acids are usually liquid at room temperature and are referred to as oils.
Solid fats are found mostly in animal foods but can be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation. Most animal fats tend to have a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids with the major exception being seafood.
Plant foods tend to have a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. A strong body of evidence indicates that a higher intake of most dietary saturated fatty acids is associated with higher levels of blood total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Higher total and LDL cholesterol levels are risk factors for heart disease.
There are many great sources of protein, and they vary considerably in fat content. This is the time of the year that many people start cooking a lot more on the grill and often choose a variety of cuts of beef.
There are many lean cuts of beef with some of the leanest including round steaks and roasts (eye of the round, top round, bottom round and round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
But what about when you want a nice juicy marbled large steak right off the grill? MyPlate shows how to fit foods from all food groups into a healthful diet. Half of the plate should include vegetables and fruits, the other half of the plate protein and grains and a serving of dairy to complete the meal.
The first thing to think about is portion size. Think petite. Get the flavor you desire but have a smaller portion! Why not share that steak with your spouse or a friend? Here’s a hint — cut it in half from side to side to create a thinner but nicely shaped steak, instead of from top to bottom, to create two portions. Plan other foods to add to that steak to make a complete meal.