The Best Ways to Eat Steak on a Diet

beef for weight loss
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When you think about the best weight loss foods, you probably don't think about steak. But steak can be part of a healthy diet to lose weight. However, there are healthy ways and not-so-healthy ways to choose and prepare steak if you want to stay lean. Make sure you choose one these best ways to eat steak if you want to lose weight and keep the pounds off for good.

Red Meat: Benefits for Weight Loss

A single serving of beef is three ounces.

That's about the size of a deck of cards. The calorie and fat content can vary significantly, but a single serving of top sirloin contains 158 calories, just over 5 grams of fat and a whopping 26 grams of protein.

Eating the right amount of protein is essential when you're trying to lose weight. Protein helps you build muscle to maintain a healthy metabolism and eating protein at meal time can help you to feel full for a longer period of time. Beef is also a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, selenium and zinc.

Beef Drawbacks for Dieters

The downside to beef is that it is high in cholesterol and can be high in saturated fat. Currently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics recommends that your saturated fat intake should be no more than 7-10 percent of your total daily calories. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake to 5-6 percent of your total calories.

That means that if you eat 2000 calories each day, then you should consume only 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat, according to the AHA guideline. Some dieters may be told by their doctors to eat even less saturated fat than that. Most of us consume more saturated fat than is recommended.

So what is the best way to eat steak and stay within healthy guidelines?

There are some cuts of red meat that are better than others. You can use simple tips to choose better cuts of beef and still lose weight.

The Best Ways to Eat Steak

If you love red meat and you're trying to slim down, your best bet is to avoid higher fat ground meat and choose a high quality steak. John Kennedy is the Food and Nutrition Manager at Omaha Steaks.  He offered a few tips for buying beef when you're trying to lose weight.

"Try to look for the cuts with the least amount of visible fat. Some of the leanest cuts include the top sirloin, beef tenderloin and filet mignon." He points out that Omaha Steak's 5-ounce serving of filet mignon has 220 calories and 10 grams of fat.

He adds, however, that the fat (marbling) is what gives beef it's flavor. "T-bones and ribeyes tend to have more marbling than some of the leaner cuts of beef," he says. So those cuts should be enjoyed by dieters in moderation.

Cooking Tips for a Healthy Steak

Once you've chosen your cut of beef, the best way to eat steak and keep your calorie and fat intake in control is to use a healthy preparation method.

Kennedy offers a few tips to keep your meal healthy.

  • Trim any visible fat off of the beef before you begin prepping. You can also ask your butcher to trim fat or buy steaks that have the fat removed.
  • Choose a lean cooking method to keep the calorie and fat content in control. Broil, grill, or roast meat on a grill or pan that drains away fat.
  • Keep portion control in mind. Remember that a single serving is only three ounces.

You can also keep your weekly fat and calorie count in control by balancing beef meals with meals that include other healthy sources of protein.  Other nutritious protein sources include tuna, salmon chicken breast, bison or swordfish.

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