How to eat steak on a heart-healthy diet

Published 6:56 am Saturday, March 9, 2019

It’s National Nutrition Month, and yes, I’m talking about steak. Why? Because learning about beef can help you make smarter choices in the grocery store and in the kitchen.  

What does it mean to be lean?

Lean beef is actually a government regulated term. It means that a three-ounce serving of cooked beef must have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol.

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Knowing which cuts of steak are lean can help you reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Eating too much saturated fat can increase your blood cholesterol as well as your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Lean choices include sirloin, strip steak, flank steak, skirt steak and tenderloin (filet mignon). For reference, a four-ounce serving of strip steak contains about 150 calories and just two grams of saturated fat. If you forget which cuts are lean, just ask your butcher. They will be more than happy to recommend a smart choice.

Smart portions

If its protein you’re after, keep in mind that a three-ounce serving of beef (roughly the size of a deck of cards) provides a generous 25 grams of protein, along with a dose of zinc, iron and B vitamins.

Healthy cooking tips

Marinating lean steak can help tenderize the beef. Try making your own marinades using olive oil, vinegar, reduced-sodium soy sauce, salt-free seasoning blends, citrus, citrus zest and fresh herbs.

Try to make your meal as heart-healthy as possible by including a variety of vegetables and whole grains. Thinly cut strips of steak can be used for quick veggie stir-fries, fajitas, salads or whole-grain steak sandwiches.

Bottom line: Steak can be part of a balanced diet by choosing lean cuts and keeping portions in check.  

Bruschetta Steak

Bruschetta Steak

  • Turn a favorite appetizer into dinner by adding thin strips of New York strip steak.
  • Serves 4
  • 30 minutes

What you need

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee Short Cuts chopped white onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 10 fresh mozzarella pearls, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Gustare Vita olive oil
  • 2 (8-oz each) New York strip steaks
  • ¼ tsp Hy-Vee salt
  • ⅛ tsp Hy-Vee ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp thinly slice fresh basil
  • Gustare Vita balsamic glaze, for serving

What you do

  1. Preheat broiler to HIGH.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together tomatoes, onions, garlic and fresh mozzarella; set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear steak 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown. Remove from heat and top steaks with tomato mixture.
  4. Broil steak 3 to 4 minutes until cheese is slightly melted and internal temperature of steak reaches 130 degrees for medium-rare or 145 degrees for medium. Remove from oven and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before serving. Top each steak with 1 tablespoon basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.

Nutrition information (per serving): 250 calories, 17g fat, 6g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 480mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 23g protein

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.