This 4th of July—and all summer long—millions of Americans will be tossing hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages on the grill. These classics may be tasty summer staples, but do you really know what you’re eating?
Whether it’s chemically processed, cured, salted, or smoked, processed meat can up your risk for heart disease as much as 42% and Type 2 diabetes by 19%. “Processed meat such as bacon, salami, hot dogs, and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid,” says Harvard researcher Renata Micha, RD, PhD.
The good news is that this meta-analysis published in Circulation finds no higher heart or diabetes risk in people who eat only unprocessed meat. So treat yourself to good, natural meat instead!
I’ve long been a proponent of eating beef, but with the recent pink slime debacle, and yet another E. Coli outbreak in the news, enjoying just any burger may give you more than you’ve bargained for.
The safest and tastiest option – mostly grass-fed beef – has 40% less saturated fat—and considerably more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids including CLA—than grain-fed livestock. Grass-fed beef contains more beta-carotene and vitamin E too. No wonder research suggests this kind of meat can help lower your risk of body fat (think love handles) and cancer, as well as diabetes and heart disease.
Aim for a couple of 3 to 4 oz. servings of organic mostly grass-fed beef a week.
I’m a fan of Ranch Foods Direct beef, not just for what it does contain – high protein, B vitamins, zinc, and the skinny fats – but also for what it does not contain, like pink slime, meat glues, and antibiotics. An unbelievable 89% of the antibiotics prescribed in our country are used for cattle and 60% of those have been banned for over six years.
I have found Ranch Foods Direct mostly grass-feed beef to be unusually tender and flavorful, definitely much more so than other grass-fed beef I’ve tasted. This meat also cooks 10 to 15% faster. Created by Mike Callicrate, Ranch Foods Direct has graciously agreed to give my followers a special discount. Use promo code ‘ALG5’ online at www.ranchfoodsdirect.com or call 1-866-866-6328 to receive a 5% discount with your order – not valid with bundles.
Many of my clients order from Ranch Foods Direct and even with shipping costs pay less money than if they were to buy from their local health food market like Whole Foods.
Because mostly grass-fed meats do have less fat than grain-fed, you need to rub them with a little olive oil before grilling.
Always marinate protein foods in a thin, liquid sauce first to prevent the formation of cancer-causing substances. For added protection, add herbs like garlic and especially rosemary to your marinade to further reduce carcinogens, add flavor, and “beef” up nutrient value.
Rosemary, for instance, contains powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, as well as vitamin E (itself an antioxidant). Scientists at the National Institute of Agronomic Research in Dijon, France, find that rosemary encourages production of detoxifying enzymes including glutathione. Not only does this stimulate the liver to remove harmful toxins from the body but it also boosts energy levels.
For your 4th of July cookout, try this recipe – it’s one of my faves:
Steak with Garlic, Rosemary, Exotic Mushrooms, and Wine
2 cloves garlic
1 ¼ teaspoons dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
½ cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, about ½ inch thick
4 cups exotic mushrooms (1 cup each of crimini, enoki, oyster, and portobello)
Place the garlic, rosemary, and half the red wine in a food processor and pulse until mixed thoroughly, adding half the olive oil to make a paste. Coat both sides of the steak and marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Grill or broil the steak on medium-high about 3 minutes, each side, for medium rare, or longer for medium. If you like your beef well-done, cook slowly at a lower temperature, after searing in the juices.
Saute cleaned and dried mushrooms in the remaining wine and oil to serve over steak, after slicing meat on the grain. (If you happen to have any leftovers, toss them in a salad the next day.)