Recently (November 2012), I went on Dr. Marla Shapiros new show on CTV News talking about red meat. This is a controversial topic for many as it’s known to cause cancer and heart disease. But what a lot of people don’t realize is much of the research is done on the highly processed, antibiotic and hormone pumped, artificially flavoured commercial meat on the markets right now. As a Holistic Nutritionist, I look into more than just the food – how it’s prepared, where it’s from, and the types which makes a large difference for how it actually interacts with your body. So how do you consume beef with less worry of health risks? Watch Episode 6 Video #3 for November 1st and read below for even further tips for how to consume it in a more healthy way.
1. Add Flava!
I mentioned that marinating your meat can help prevent harmful HCA compounds which cause cancer. They get activated with heat but certain items, like rosemary, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic – as well as other high antioxidant foods – can help protect the meat from the high heat to reduce the amount of these compounds. Even government websites are recognizing this so it’s not just a bunch of hooey! So yes – flavour is actually super important believe it or not! So,make sure you add some flavour – and I don’t mean the MSG ridden “steak spice” you see in the store.
2. Buy Grass Fed
Just think of a human being who eats a ton of leafy green vegetables versus a human being who only consumes starchy corn as their vegetable. Who do you think will have more nutrients inside them? Who will be leaner? Exactly. Grass fed animals are leaner and thus lower in overall fat (most toxins from animals and humans are stored in the fat) and calories, they are high in omega 3 fat versus saturated fat, they also will be hormone and antibiotic free, and it’s more environmentally friendly because they are alive for longer and graze on the farm land helping to fertilize the land and reduces the amount of machinery needed. The farmland in itself becomes more sustainable because the animals do most of the work and little, if any, machinery is needed. They also won’t need to rely on fertilizers or pesticides for their crops. Very cool right?
3. Buy lean cuts
Like eye of round, sirloin, flank and extra lean ground beef. It’s mostly the saturated fat that is linked to heart disease and excessive fat from meats will also ignite more HCA compounds when grilling because the dripping fat will cause flames to erupt and charcoaled areas of the meat to be produced. I know that you might be thinking “but leaner cuts won’t be as juicy and delicious”. Well, if you buy leaner cuts and marinate them, you won’t suffer in flavour, or juiciness! Marinades help to break apart the protein fibers making it easier to digest, have a more tender texture to them and make them juicy!
So enough about how red meat can be healthy if you want to consume it – and on with a marinade to keep you healthy, safe, and drooling!
Makes about 3 – 4 cups worth, enough for 8 – 10 individual steaks or servings of a meal
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 onions, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (all of it)
3 jalapenos or hot peppers, seeds removed
large piece of ginger, grated (3 inches)
6 cloves of garlic, grated
2 tbsp thyme, ground
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Sea salt and pepper
Blend everything in a food processor or blender until extremely smooth. Marinate your meat in just enough to cover it, then grill or bake and use extra marinade (that hasn’t been touching the raw meat) to baste with and add additional flavour.
NOTE – This sauce is GREEN and very thick. It will definitely be noticeable and not like an oil/vinegar marinade so just take this into account if you’re into food presenting 🙂