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Printer friendly version Beef, lean organic Beef is available in a wide variety of cuts throughout the year.

The different cuts range in texture and tenderness, as well as fat content, making beef a very versatile food. Lean organic beef provides a very good source of protein and vitamin B12 and a good source of selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins without the concern for pesticide, hormone and antibiotic residues that may be found in non-organic varieties. If possible, look for lean beef from cows that have been grass fed.

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Beef, lean organic provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Beef, lean organic can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Beef, lean organic, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits Description History How to Select and Store How to Enjoy

Individual Concerns Nutritional Profile References

Health Benefits Lately, red meat has been getting a lot of bad press. Studies have linked red meat to heart disease, atherosclerosis, and even some types of cancer. But while the greasy, charcoal-burned, bacon cheeseburger served with deep fried French fries is a bad idea, a nice bit of lean beef, added to stews or stir-fries or your favorite burrito recipe, may actually be healthy for you. First of all, lean beef is a very good source of protein providing 64.1% of the daily value for protein in just 4 ounces. But did you know that lean organic beef also contains nutrients that protect your heart and prevent colon cancer? Cardiovascular Benefits In addition to being a very good source of protein, lean, organic beef is a very good source of vitamin B12, and a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 along with vitamin B6 are two vitamins needed by the body to convert the potentially dangerous chemical homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, getting plenty of these B vitamins in your diet is important (homocysteine is also associated with osteoporosis, and a recent study found that osteoporosis

occurred more frequently among women whose vitamin B12 status was deficient or marginal compared with those who had normal B12 status.) A four-ounce serving of lean beef provides 48.7% of the daily value for vitamin B12 plus 24.5% of the DV for B6. Cancer Protection Diets high in vitamin B12-rich foods, especially if they are low in fat, are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. And, organic beef is also a good source of the trace minerals selenium and zinc. Selenium, another nutrient in lean beef that helps reduce the risk of colon cancer, is needed for the proper function of glutathione peroxidase, an important internally produced antioxidant that has also been shown to reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is incorporated at the active site of glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. Glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules, which might otherwise wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells. For this and other reasons, foods rich in selenium are also associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer. Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer have suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or

abnormal cells. A four-ounce serving of lean beef supplies 50.3% of the daily value for selenium. Lean beef is a good source of zinc, which is helpful for preventing the damage to blood vessel walls that can contribute to atherosclerosis and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system, making it a good nutrient for helping to prevent infections or recurrent ear infections. New research suggests that another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods, such as beef, a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men. Almost 30% of hip fractures occur in men, and 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture. A study of 396 men ranging in age from 45-92 that was published in the September 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.(October 18, 2004) Four ounces of lean beef contains 42.2% of the daily value for zinc. So don't think eating healthy means saying goodbye to beef. Lean, low-fat organic beef tenderloin can actually be a healthy addition to a good, whole foods diet. Description

"Where's the beef?" is not only a famous advertising slogan. It is a question that one can ask regarding a healthy diet since lean beef provides a vast resource of important nutrients. Beef is available in a wide variety of cuts that can fulfill many different recipe needs. The different cuts range in texture and tenderness as well as in fat content, making beef a very versatile food. The leanest cuts of beef are taken from the back leg bone, called the round bone. These include eye of round, top round, and bottom round. These cuts are the leanest (most muscular) because the cow uses its back legs as its primary means of movement. The underbelly, including rib, ribeye, spare rib, and brisket, is the site of the fattiest cuts. In Latin, the scientific name for cow is Bos taurus. History Cows were first domesticated for beef in the regions of Greece and Turkey about 4,000 years ago. Cows and the meat that they provide have been revered in many civilizations throughout history, even being considered sacred in India and some parts of Africa. Beef consumption has long been considered as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. While people in the U.S. think that hamburgers are the all-American food, beef is a relatively recent introduction to the U.S. Before the 16th century, cows and therefore beef were not known in Western Hemisphere. They were brought to central and south America by the Spanish

conquistadors who invaded these regions. Cows and beef later came to North America with the early colonists. How to Select and Store There are a few clues you can look for that will help you choose fresher quality beef. Always examine the sell-by date on the label and choose the beef with the latest date. The muscle portion of the meat should be a red or purplish color and not brown, which is a signal that the meat has been excessively exposed to oxygen and is spoiled. Purchase beef that has the least amount of fat. There is some controversy over the nature of fat color in beef (white versus yellow). Based on current research, it is difficult to conclude that either yellow fat or white fat is automatically good or bad. Yellow fat can mean increased beta-carotene content in the fat and in this respect, could be a potential benefit. Overall, however, the purchase of beef with the very least amount of fat is still your best bet. As previously explained, the leanest cuts of beef are taken from the back leg bone, called the round bone. These include eye of round, top round, and bottom round. These cuts are the leanest (most muscular) because the cow uses its back legs as its primary means of movement. The round is your best cut for lean, low-fat beef. Whenever possible, purchase organically grown beef. This will give you more assurance that the beef you are feeding yourself and your family does not have pesticide, hormone or antibiotic residues and that the cattle were raised in a more humane manner.

Since beef is highly perishable, it should always be kept at cold temperatures, either refrigerated or frozen. Refrigerate the beef in the original store packaging, if it is still intact and secure, as this will reduce the amount of handling involved. Length of storage varies with the cut of beef as larger pieces will have a longer shelf life than pieces with increased surface area. Ground beef will keep for about one to two days, steaks for two to three days, and roasts for three to four days. If you have more beef than you can use within this period of time, you can freeze it in a cold temperature freezer. Using either aluminum foil or freezer paper, wrap the beef carefully so that it is as tightly packaged as possible. Ground beef should be able to keep for two to three months, while steaks should keep for about six months. How to Enjoy A Few Quick Serving Ideas: Healthy saut thin slices of steak with onions, garlic, fresh basil, lemongrass and chili peppers for a southeast Asian inspired meal. Add ground beef to tomato sauce and serve over pasta. Skewer cubes of beef with your favorite vegetables, brush with a little olive oil and grill.

Serve thinly slice cooked tenderloin on toasted whole wheat French bread, and enjoy these open faced sandwiches topped with roasted peppers and onions. Coat steaks with crushed peppercorns before cooking to create the classic dish, steak au poivre. Grilling meat this summer? Be sure to enjoy it with a healthy serving of Cole slaw, or lightly steamed cabbage broccoli Brussels sprouts, kale or cauliflower. These cruciferous vegetables greatly increase our body's ability to detoxify heterocyclic amines, the carcinogenic compounds produced when meat is grilled or otherwise charbroiled. In a study published in Carcinogenesis (Kassie F, Uhl M, et al., February 2003), researchers looked at the effects on the liver and colon of supplementing the diet of animals given a heterocyclic amine carcinogen with Brussels sprouts or red cabbage. Brussels sprouts reduced the development of pre-cancerous cells 41-52% in the colon and 2767% in the liver, and drastically diminished the size (85-91%) of pre-cancerous lesions in the liver. Red cabbage moderately decreased (19-50%) the number of pre-cancerous lesions that developed in the liver and markedly reduced (41-83%) the size of those that did occur. These highly protective effects are due to crucifers' ability to significantly increase the activity of enzymes involved in both Phase I and Phase II detoxification.

Brussels sprouts' stronger protective effects are thought to be due to the fact that this cruciferous vegetable contains 2-3 times the amount of phytonutrients called glucosinolates than are found in red cabbage. Glucosinolates increase Phase II glucuronidation activity, one of the primary pathways through which toxins that are made even more dangerous by Phase I, are rendered water-soluble and ready for elimination from the body. So, boost your body's ability to protect you from the cancer-promoting compounds formed when grilling meat or fish by enjoying these foods with a healthy serving of crucifers. Liven up your plate with the vibrant colors of Cole slaw made from red cabbage, carrots and scallions. For a bit of Indian flavor, dish up some healthy sauted cauliflower spiced with turmeric. Or be adventurous and give Brussels sprouts a try. Tossed with virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, raisins and walnuts, lightly steamed Brussels sprouts may turn out to be one of your favorite vegetables. Marinate Beef Patties before Cooking for Healthier Hamburgers Cooking hamburgers can result in the formation of cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA), to which the International Agency for Research on Cancer recommends reducing our exposure. Fortunately, for those who love a good hamburger, coating beef patties with marinades made with onion, garlic and lemon juice in pure olive oil can greatly reduce the amount of HAA produced. When the amount of garlic was increased from 2 to 20 grams /100 grams of marinade, the estimated HAA content in the hamburgers was reduced about 70%. (20 grams is

approximately of an ounce, while 100 grams is approximately 3.5 ounces.) The amounts of onion, garlic and lemon juice that achieved maximum reduction of HAA were calculated as 31%, 29% and 15% in the marinade, respectively. Study author, Monika Gibis speculates that the sulphur-containing compounds, such as cysteine and glutathione, in garlic and onions are responsible since these compounds have been shown to reduce HAA levels in model systems. (Gibis M. J Agric Food Chem.) Individual Concerns Beef and Heart Attack Risk Red Meat Significantly Increases Heart Attack Risk Results of the CARDIO2000 case-control study indicate that frequent red meat consumption significantly increases risk of "acute coronary syndrome," a label which includes greatly increased risk of unstable angina, plaque rupture, blood clot formation and heart attack. (Kontogianni MD, Panagiotakos DB, et al., Eur J Clin Nutr) In this research, involving 848 patients and 1078 healthy age- and sex-matched controls, eating more than 8 servings of red meat a month was associated with 52% increased risk of a "cardiac event," e.g., cardiac arrest and sudden death.

Eating white meat more than 12 times a month increased likelihood of having a cardiac event by 18%. Study participants who ate 8 or more portions red meat or 12 or more portions of white meat each month had 4.9 and 3.7 higher odds of having a heart attack, respectively, compared to those with low meat intake (less than 4 portions of red meat and less than 8 portions of white meat per month, respectively). Practical Tip: Limit your consumption of red meat to once a week and white meat to twice a week. Enjoy more meals featuring fish, eggs, and whole grain/legume combinations. Let our Recipe Assistant help you find quick, easy and delicious ideas for meatfree meals. Allergic Reactions to Beef Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others. Common symptoms associated with an allergic reaction to food include: chronic gastrointestinal disturbances; frequent infections, e.g. ear infections, bladder infections, bed-wetting; asthma, sinusitis; eczema, skin rash, acne, hives; bursitis, joint pain; fatigue, headache, migraine; hyperactivity, depression, insomnia. Individuals who suspect food allergy to be an underlying factor in their health problems may want to avoid commonly allergenic foods. Beef is one of the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions. Other foods commonly associated with allergic reactions include: cow's

milk, wheat, soy, shrimp, oranges, eggs, chicken, strawberries, tomato, spinach, peanuts, pork, and corn. These foods do not need to be eaten in their pure, isolated form in order to trigger an adverse reaction. For example, yogurt made from cow's milk is also a common allergenic food, even though the cow's milk has been processed and fermented in order to make the yogurt. Ice cream made from cow's milk would be an equally good example. Beef and Purines Beef contain naturally-occurring substances called purines. Purines are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. In some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. The health condition called "gout" and the formation of kidney stones from uric acid are two examples of uric acid-related problems that can be related to excessive intake of purine-containing foods. For this reason, individuals with kidney problems or gout may want to limit or avoid intake of purine-containing foods such as beef. Special Handling of Beef Special safety precautions are important when handling beef. However, the following recommendations should be used as guidelines when handling any animal flesh involved in a meal.

When you are at the grocery store, purchase raw meats last. Since raw meats may contaminate other grocery items, keep fresh meats apart from other items. Put raw meat packages in a plastic bag, so juices won't drip onto other foods. Pack raw meats in an ice chest if it will take you more than an hour to get home, and keep the ice chest in the passenger area of the car during warm weather. Take meats straight home to the refrigerator or freezer. Store uncooked beef items together, separate from cooked foods. Refrigerate or freeze fresh beef immediately after bringing it home. Never leave beef in a hot car or sitting out at room temperature. Packaged whole cuts of fresh beef may be refrigerated in their original wrappings in the coldest part of the refrigerator (usually the bottom back) for three to five days after purchase, while ground beef can be stored in the refrigerator (also in the bottom back) for one to two days. Keep beef refrigerated until you are ready to cook it. Always wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before preparing foods and after handling raw beef. Don't let raw meat or juices touch ready-to-go foods, either in the refrigerator or during preparation. Don't put cooked foods on the same plate that held raw beef. Always wash utensils that have touched raw meat with hot, soapy water before using them for cooked meats. Wash counters, cutting boards and other surfaces raw meats have touched. These surfaces may be sanitized by cleaning with a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach per quart of water. Thaw uncooked frozen beef in the refrigerator or in cold water. Never thaw beef at room temperature. Thawing by refrigeration requires planning ahead and most likely allowing a 24-

hour thawing period. After defrosting raw beef by this method, it will be safe in the refrigerator for up to five days before cooking. To thaw beef in cold water, leave the beef in its original wrapping or place it in a watertight plastic bag. Change the water every 30 minutes. Marinate beef in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Discard the marinade after use because it contains raw juices, which may harbor bacteria. If you want to use the marinade as a dip or sauce, reserve a portion before adding raw food. Never brown or partially cook beef, then refrigerate and finish cooking later, because any bacteria present will not have been destroyed. Using a thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure safety and to determine the "doneness" of beef and most other foods. To be safe, a product must be cooked to an internal temperature high enough to destroy any harmful bacteria that may have been in the food. Many food handlers believe that visible indicators, such as color changes in the food, can be relied on to determine whether foods have been cooked long enough to ensure bacterial destruction. However, recent research has shown that color and texture indicators are not reliable. When cooking whole cuts or parts of beef, the thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, fat and gristle. The thermometer may be inserted sideways if necessary.

Whole Muscle Meats : The USDA recommends cooking to a minimum internal temperature of 160F for medium-cooked whole cuts of fresh beef and 170F for well-done cuts. Ground Beef: Ground beef must be cooked thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria. Unlike whole muscle meat, whose interior meat is sterile, the grinding process exposes the interior meat in ground beef to bacteria, which may be on the surface, in the air, on equipment or on people's hands. To kill these bacteria, food safety experts have one major rule of thumb - cook ground beef to at least 160F. This step, while very simple, offers the best protection that consumers can have for serving ground beef products safely. Nutritional Profile Beef is a very good source of protein and vitamin B12. It is also a good source of zinc and selenium. In addition, beef is a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, iron and phosphorus. For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Beef. In-Depth Nutritional Profile In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Beef, lean organic is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients,

including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more. Introduction to Food Rating System Chart In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are

found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system. Beef tenderloin, lean, broiled 4.00 oz-wt 113.40 grams 240.41 calories Nutrient tryptophan protein zinc selenium phosphorus vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) iron vitamin B3 (niacin) Amount 0.36 g 32.04 g 6.33 mg DV Nutrient World's Healthiest (%) Density Foods Rating 112.5 64.1 48.7 42.2 8.4 4.8 3.6 3.2 3.0 2.0 1.8 1.7 1.7 excellent very good very good good good good good good good

vitamin B12 (cobalamin) 2.92 mcg

27.67 mcg 39.5 269.89 mg 27.0 0.49 mg 4.05 mg 4.44 mg 24.5 22.5 22.2

vitamin B2 (riboflavin) World's Healthiest Foods Rating excellent very good good

0.35 mg

20.6

1.5

good

Rule DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10% DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5% DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Beef, lean organic References

Dhonukshe-Rutten RA, Lips M, de Jong N et al. Vitamin B-12 status is associated with bone mineral content and bone mineral density in frail elderly women but not in men. J Nutr. 2003 Mar; 133(3):801-7 2003. Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210. Gibis M. Effect of oil marinades with garlic, onion, and lemon juice on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines in fried beef patties. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10240-7. 2007. PMID:17988088.

Hazell T. Iron and zinc compounds in the muscle meats of beef, lamb, pork and chicken. J Sci Food Agric 1982 Oct;33(10):1049-56 1982. PMID:16340. Hurrell RF, Lynch SR, Trinidad TP, et al. Iron absorption in humans: bovine serum albumin compared with beef muscle and egg white. Am J Clin Nutr 1988 Jan;47(1):102-7 1988. PMID:16330. Hyun T, Barrett-Connor E, Milne D. Zinc intakes and plasma concentrations in men with osteoporosis: the Rancho Bernardo Study. Am J Clin Nutr, Sept. 2004:80(3):715-721. 2004. PMID:15321813. Johnson JM, Walker PM. Zinc and iron utilization in young women consuming a beef-based diet. J Am Diet Assoc 1992 Dec;92(12):1474-8 1992. PMID:16320. Kassie F, Uhl M, Rabot S, Grasl-Kraupp B, Verkerk R, Kundi M, Chabicovsky M, Schulte-Hermann R, Knasmuller S. Chemoprevention of 2-amino-3methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ)-induced colonic and hepatic preneoplastic lesions in the F344 rat by cruciferous vegetables administered simultaneously with the carcino. Carcinogenesis. 2003 Feb;24(2):255-61. 2003. PMID:12584175. Kiatoko M, McDowell LR, Bertrand JE, et al. Evaluating the nutritional status of beef cattle herds from four soil order regions of Florida. I.

Macroelements, protein, carotene, vitamins A and E, hemoglobin and hematocrit. J Anim Sci 1982 Jul;55(1):28-37 1982. PMID:16350. Kontogianni MD, Panagiotakos DB, Pitsavos C, Chrysohoou C, Stefanadis C. Relationship between meat intake and the development of acute coronary syndromes: the CARDIO2000 case-control study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar 14; [Epub ahead of print] 2007. PMID:17356558. Neale RJ, Obanu ZA, Biggin RJ, et al. Protein quality and iron availability of intermediate moisture beef stored at 38 degrees C. Ann Nutr Aliment 1978;32(2-3):587-96 1978. PMID:16360. Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: PrenticeHall Press; 1988 1988. PMID:15220. More of the World's Healthiest Foods (& Spices)!