February Is American Heart Month

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I ALWAYS JOKINGLY REFER TO MY TIME AS A REGISTERED NURSE WORKING IN THE CARDIAC CATH LAB AND CARDIAC ICU AS MY “PAST LIFE”… CONSIDERING NOWADAYS MY TIME IS SPENT CHASING AROUND A FREE RANGE FARM KID AND WORKING ON OUR FARM.

Although those experiences may have felt like another lifetime, it was not that long ago I recovered patients fresh out of the operating room from open heart surgery.

…and I absolutely loved it. Managing breathing tubes, manifolds of iv tubes connected to multiple iv pumps, lines coming from all over, a rainbow of wave forms on the monitor, temporary pacemakers, a number of chest tubes draining, an array of devices requiring strict attention, endless documentation, and a flurry of medical providers in and out of the room barking orders… all while comforting and educating loved ones at the bedside.

As soon as the breathing tube was pulled and the patient was coherent, the education began. We educated on the importance of movement, the importance of coughing, deep breathing, pain management, and of course, nutrition. It always became a joke when a patient would discover in conversation that my “other life” ironically consisted of raising red meat. I can’t tell you how many times a patient would tell me they were going to miss having delicious beef as a part of their diet.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT… YOU CAN HAVE YOUR STEAK… AND EAT IT TOO!

Evidence has shown that eating 3 servings of red meat per week with a well balanced diet can keep your heart happy. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition, “Substituting Lean Beef…” (Maki, 2020) supported this and concluded that substituting lean beef for carbohydrates showed no increase cardiac risk in men or women with pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or otherwise considered at increased risk of heart disease.

Another study performed by Penn State University and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2012) found that those who participated in the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) Study maintained healthy blood cholesterol levels while also consuming a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, while eating lean beef as the primary protein source.

The Beef WISE study, by the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, showed that lean beef as part of a high-protein diet with physical activity can decrease body weight and fat mass while maintaining lean muscle, and improving body composition and risk factors for heart disease. In fact, lean beef is just as effective as other protein sources and can absolutely be included as part of a high-protein, healthy diet.

TIPS FOR INCORPORATING BEEF AS PART OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE:

  • Look for leaner cuts of beef. These cuts often include “round” or “loin” in the name. i.e. tenderloin, sirloin, top sirloin, sirloin tip, eye of round, lean ground beef and more! (Some of these cuts you can potentially get at a better price too) check out our “shop beef” section to purchase these cuts.

  • Keep portion size in mind. 3 ounces of beef is comparable to a deck of cards. Many of our thick cut steaks could give you multiple servings!

  • Choose healthier cooking methods such as broiling, baking, or stewing.

  • Trim away visible fat before cooking. Not after.

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AS A PASSIONATE RUNNER, MOM, AND FARMER, I RELY ON BEEF TO MAINTAIN MAXIMUM ENERGY AND SUPPORT MY OVERALL HEALTH AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. BEEF PROVIDES MY BODY WITH 10 IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS SUCH AS B-VITAMINS, ZINC, AND IRON, AS WELL AS 25 GRAMS OF PROTEIN (50% OF THE SUGGESTED DAILY VALUE) IN JUST A 3-OUNCE PORTION. LESS IS TRULY MORE IN CALORIES CONSUMED AND DOLLARS SPENT TO MEET THE SAME NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS IN OTHER FOODS.

Photo: 2018 “Cow Run” 10 Miler

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TO VIEW DELICIOUS BEEF RECIPES CERTIFIED BY THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, VISIT:

www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com and search “Heart Healthy Recipes”

References:

Maki, K. C., Wilcox, M. L., Dicklin, M. R., Buggia, M., Palacios, O. M., Maki, C. E., & Kramer, M. (2020). Substituting Lean Beef for Carbohydrate in a Healthy Dietary Pattern Does Not Adversely Affect the Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Profile in Men and Women at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of nutrition, 150(7), 1824–1833. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa116

Sayer, R. D., Speaker, K. J., Pan, Z., Peters, J. C., Wyatt, H. R., & Hill, J. O. (2017). Equivalent reductions in body weight during the Beef WISE Study: beef's role in weight improvement, satisfaction and energy. Obesity science & practice, 3(3), 298–310. https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.118

Roussell, M. A., Hill, A. M., Gaugler, T. L., West, S. G., Heuvel, J. P., Alaupovic, P., Gillies, P. J., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2012). Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(1), 9–16. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.016261


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