I grew up in the Midwest and am a full fledged “meat and potatoes” type of guy. As I near 40 years old, I keep hearing about how bad beef is for you. I’ve taken great measures to lose almost 30 pounds while being in my upper 30’s, and every trainer, diet blog, and nutritionist says to avoid beef.
But that simply isn’t happening to this guy. I’ve tried, and failed, to cut steak out of my diet.
Could I be lighter if I did so? Maybe. Maybe.
Do I care? No. Not at all.
As I’ve embarked on protein rich diets that have been free of starchy carbs for the most part, I’ve done a bit of research into beef. As most people know, it’s a great source of protein and iron. As far as athletic performance, it’s important because it delivers oxygen to your muscles. People doing intermittent fasting agree with this. According to Stack.com, the vitamins in beef include:
These all assist in converting food to energy. Vitamin E is found as well, which has antioxidant properties. Lastly, it has vitamin K, which is said to help with blood clotting, although I’d argue that because beef was a daily thing in my diet when I lived in Costa Rica and I still suffered from a blood clot. It was brutal. I truly hope none of you experience clotting.
You’ll hear all of the loud noise about how bad beef is for you because it’s high in cholesterol as well as saturated fat, but if you follow any bodybuilding diets (like the anabolic diet) you’ll quickly see that many men just don’t care about that. That said, to be a responsible reporter of this subject, I’m going on record saying that you should watch your weekly intake. And it’s not just me, the USDA suggests you consume 1-2 servings per week of lean beef cuts. (Looks like I just obliterated another line.)
How is a Lean Cut of Beef Defined?
A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving will be defined as lean when the content of fat is less than 10 grams, the saturated fat is less than 4.5 grams, and the level of cholesterol is lower than 95 milligrams.
Related: four steaks you must know.
How to Shop for Lean Beef
This all sounds fine and dandy, but the super markets are getting good at dressing up everything they sell, so it’s important that you know how to buy lean beef.
The first thing I tell people is that they need to look for “choice” or “select” cuts. Most people are faked out when they read “Prime.” Prime beef normally has a higher level of fat.
A lot of times you’ll see the exact percentage of lean to fat beef printed right on the label. You’ll see stuff like “90/10” that signals you it’s 90% lean beef with 10% fat.
Of course, the higher the percentage of lean meat there is, the lower the amount of fat inside.
When you take a look at any piece of meat, look at the white parts that drape the meat’s edges and interior. This is called marbling, and this is fat. Although you will hear many people say “look at that marbling,” or even “dude I need that” you need to know that if you are looking to buy lean beef, avoid the ones with the most visible marbling.
List of Lean Cuts of Beef
- Top sirloin
- Sirloin tip side
- Top and bottom round roast
- Sirloin tip side steak
Related Reading: how to make a 1,000 island steak
Where to Buy Steak Online
This is a blog for men, and I can’t possibly look myself in the mirror each morning without knowing I have all the bases covered. I’ve personally sampled each online steak vendor on this list, and if you click the reviews below, you’ll see exactly which places are the best places to order from online if you want to have the best steak.
- Snake River Farms review. My favorite is the American Wagyu.