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Old 05-16-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
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Question Low fat/cal beef

hello everyone,
I've been looking for nutritional information regarding beef products (e.g. hotdog, hamburger, steak, etc.) but I haven't found anything (or anything understandable).
I want to eat meat once in awhile, but since I'm trying to lose weight and such, I'm looking to eat at least healthier meat. (for example, perhaps hotdogs are much less healthy than steak. I have no idea.)

can someone please help me
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:25 AM   #2
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The USDA provides this comprhensive listing of information on many foods. You can look items up oin line or download the database to your computer.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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What's really nice is that if you're buying hamburger meat, there are so many options, as far as fat goes. I like to purchse the one with only 7% for most recipes. Another thought - Buffalo or Bison is the healthiest of red meats, from what I understand. It is really tasty!
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyWithSpoon
hello everyone,
I've been looking for nutritional information regarding beef products (e.g. hotdog, hamburger, steak, etc.) but I haven't found anything (or anything understandable).
I want to eat meat once in awhile, but since I'm trying to lose weight and such, I'm looking to eat at least healthier meat. (for example, perhaps hotdogs are much less healthy than steak. I have no idea.)

can someone please help me
BoyWithSpoon
Welcome to DC, BWS.

Fat content is on the top of the list when I cook/shop for ingredients. Re meat, hot dogs etc, reading the labels will tell you exactly what's in it. Ground turkey as another option, or even pork - but again read the labels. Trimming the fat from roasts, steak etc. helps as well. You can still eat meat and lose weight & have a healthy balanced diet. Cut down on oil and fat by sauteing in less butter oil etc. Try stir-frying thinly sliced meat and raw veggies -- wok-style.

A trick I learned for ground beef to cut the fat - after sauteing ground beef, drain the fat, put it in a colander, and run water over it to drain more fat out. You do need a certain amount of fat to maintain a healthy diet. Try making over recipes using lower fat ingredients, herbs and spices. Fresh fruit and veggies are always a plus. Try a steak salad. Again, reading the labels will really give you an idea of what's in the product.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
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Lean proteins are chicken, turkey and fish. There is nothing wrong with a steak or hamburger once in a while. The biggest difference between red meats and poultry is they are higher in saturated fats. The fatty fishes contain the best fats (omega 3, 6).
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:26 PM   #6
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Basically, the leanier the cut of beef, the less fat it will have. The cheapest, and leanest cut of beef that you can probably buy will be the sirloin. Venison, buffalo, etc. are leaner than beef in general but are pricier too.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:07 PM   #7
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Actually, if you're going to go thru that colander-rinsing bit, you might as well just go vegetarian - lol - as that will literally rinse out any last vestiges of flavor from the meat. If you want to have ground beef - have it & enjoy it. Frankly, I never buy it anymore. Prefer to use ground turkey.

Keep this in mind - ALL THINGS IN MODERATION!!! Buy nice cuts of beef, but eat moderate portions & limit your red-meat dining. Use olive & canola oils for cooking, & eat more poultry & seafood than red meats - even lean ones.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:14 PM   #8
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Hold on, Breezy. Personally, I prefer the texture of ground beef to that of ground turkey. Surely there's room for personal tastes and preferences.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:24 PM   #9
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Mudbug - I eat both, & while I've found differences in taste & fat content, texture in ground beef & turkey has always been the same. But that's just my own experience.

However, I'd still rather have either without having them rinsed in a colander with hot water. Yuck. Either eat less or cook something else; don't reduce food to tasteless styrofoam.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Mudbug - I eat both, & while I've found differences in taste & fat content, texture in ground beef & turkey has always been the same. But that's just my own experience.

However, I'd still rather have either without having them rinsed in a colander with hot water. Yuck. Either eat less or cook something else; don't reduce food to tasteless styrofoam.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mudbug
Hold on, Breezy. Personally, I prefer the texture of ground beef to that of ground turkey. Surely there's room for personal tastes and preferences.
I feel the same, Mudbug. Not that fond of ground turkey. For me, it's a little bland. I have a few recipes I like though. One, as I recall, is a turkey loaf that includes apples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Actually, if you're going to go thru that colander-rinsing bit, you might as well just go vegetarian - lol - as that will literally rinse out any last vestiges of flavor from the meat. If you want to have ground beef - have it & enjoy it. Frankly, I never buy it anymore. Prefer to use ground turkey.
Again, different strokes, for different folks!
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:32 PM   #12
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thanks to everyone for all their help.
a few more quick questions:

1) I usually cook beef in a george forman grill (its just easy, is all). is that a good/bad idea? anything I should know, especially vis a vis fat and calories? (is sauteing better? {um.. and how exactly does one "sautey"? I couldn't find a definition.})

2) this will really reveal how much of a noob I am, but here goes: what do you mean by "get a lean piece of meat"? I really don't understand.

3) so, sirloin is a "lean" piece. what are some others, and what are some which I should stay away from?

4) so, would you say that a steak is healthier than a burger?

thanks again to everyone for all your help
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
1) I usually cook beef in a george forman grill (its just easy, is all). is that a good/bad idea? anything I should know, especially vis a vis fat and calories? (is sauteing better? {um.. and how exactly does one "sautey"? I couldn't find a definition.})
Cooking it on the George Forman grill as you described is one of the healthier ways to cook a steak (or anything for that matter) since the non-stick coating means that you will not have to use any fats to prevent the meat from sticking. Sauteing would be the unhealthier option since you are cooking with a fair amount of fat. Generally sauteing is used to cook ingredients that have been cut up (such as chopped vegetables and cubed or minced meat), it involves cooking the ingredients in some sort of fat fairly lightly. It is especially useful for cooking and softening vegetables (such as the indispensible mirepoix).

Quote:
2) this will really reveal how much of a noob I am, but here goes: what do you mean by "get a lean piece of meat"? I really don't understand.
A lean piece of meat is low in fat (or at least lower than other cuts). Lamb and pork fillets are an example of a lean cut of meat.

Quote:
3) so, sirloin is a "lean" piece. what are some others, and what are some which I should stay away from?
You can spot a cut of meat that is probably higher in fat content by two things; how it looks (does it look fatty?) and price. Generally the lower in price the cut of meat is, the higher in fat content it is and the slower you must cook it to make it tender. I cannot advise on the names of cuts since America uses different names to Australia.

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4) so, would you say that a steak is healthier than a burger?
An unadorned steak is healthier than a burger. Steaks are traditionally cut from the prime meat in the animal so they are fairly lean (though of course this is not always desirable in a steak) and tender. Minced (or ground as you Americans call it) meat is traditionally made from the offcuts and less prime meat of the animal and hamburgers tend to lean towards a fairly high fat content due to the fat being desirable to keep the patties moist. Of course you can buy lean or reduced fat minced meat, but the burger patties will be drier.
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Old 05-17-2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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If you use lean ground chuck and grill your burgers (the George Foreman is great for this), they will be much healthier.

As for steak being better for you than the ground beef, that depends on the cut of the steak. My husband's favorite is ribeye, and it is full of fat. I like a nice sirloin steak, but it's hard to find a good tender one, so I usually marinate it.

My daughter uses ground turkey for some of her Mexican and Italian dishes, and it tastes just fine. She brought over a pan of mostachelli one night, and my husband never guessed he was eating turkey instead of beef.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:44 PM   #15
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thanks for you help!
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:29 AM   #16
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Ground chicken

I use ground chicken as a substitute for beef sometimes - it's texture is closer to beef than turkey.
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:16 AM   #17
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Sautee (there is actually an accent in their somewhere, but I don't know how to use it) means to cook something quickly, over a pretty high heat and a little oil. Chow (stir-frying) in Chinese cooking is the same concept. To sautee something the cut of meat has to be thin, the veggies cut up. That pretty tossing you see good chefs do is sauteeing. I'll never master that! For most of us it requires a good spatula. Both terms, if I remember my etomology correctly, refer to the fact that the food "jumps" in the pan (because you are tossing it).
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggis
...You can spot a cut of meat that is probably higher in fat content by two things; how it looks (does it look fatty?) and price. Generally the lower in price the cut of meat is, the higher in fat content it is and the slower you must cook it to make it tender. I cannot advise on the names of cuts since America uses different names to Australia...
Be careful with this one. Usually, the better cuts of meat have fat marbled through the meat. That is, you will see small bits of fat distributed throughout the meat. This gives you superior flavor and texture in meat. USDA Prime, for example, has a rich, almost buttery flavor from the extensive fat marbling.

Lower priced meats, especially beef cuts, usually are very lean, with little to no marblings. But they will often have large chunks of fat and connecting tissue. These cuts typically come from the well-exercised muscles and are rich in flavor, but can be as tough as nails. These include cuts from the bottom round, the shank, and parts of the chuck, brisket and flank.

You can get a tremendous New York Strip (Denver Steak in some places) that has great marbling. It will be costly. You can also get a USDA New York Strip that has big chunks of fat, and little marbling. It will cost substantially less. The first will make you a dinner to be proud of, while the second will leave you wondering how the same cut of beef could have such poor quality.

Price is not always a good indicator of fat content. Visible fat is.

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