In the ongoing search for healthy, wholesome foods, many people assume ground beef doesn't make the cut. But when you look at the facts, you'll learn that ground beef is a good source of protein, iron, Vitamin B12, along with six other essential nutrients. Unmatched by other proteins, ground beef's flavor and versatility make it a favorite ingredient for families everywhere.
If you're trying to limit fat intake in your family's meals, there's an easy way to reduce the fat content in ground beef – simply buy a leaner ground beef. Lean points vary greatly, and range from 73% lean/27% fat to 96% lean/4% fat. To be considered "lean," ground beef must have a lean point of 92% lean/8% fat or higher. This would include lean points such as 93% lean/7% fat and 96% lean/4% fat.
While a low-fat diet is important to your health, including enough protein is also essential because of the amino acids it provides, which help our body repair and maintain its cells. Your body needs many different amino acids to operate at its best, and while many of these acids are found naturally in your body, there are eight that are not. These are known as essential amino acids. Sources of protein that include these eight essential amino acids, such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs, are known as complete proteins. On the other hand, incomplete proteins — or those missing these essential amino acids — while important, must be combined with other proteins to provide proper nourishment. Incomplete proteins include foods such as grains, nuts and beans, among others.
Since meats like ground beef are complete proteins, you can feel confident serving it, knowing it's helping you and your family stay strong and nourished. Protein stimulates muscle growth and improves weight management. Complete proteins can also optimize muscle strength and metabolism, and improve overall health. In fact, research shows that moderately improving your protein intake can be an effective way to help manage weight, and that protein from meat had an even greater effect on weight loss than plant protein, such as protein from nuts and beans.
Since ground beef is so versatile, there are countless ways to include it in your favorite healthy recipes. Pairing delicious, healthy ingredients like vegetables, beans or pasta can make a ground beef dish even healthier and nutrient-rich.
Few foods provide as much zinc (a mineral vital to growth and a healthy immune system) as lean ground beef. eatingwell.com