You need meat in your daily diet to make blood, hormones, and supply the wherewith for body repair and cell-renewal. I know that many vegetarians are very healthy and I even remember hearing of a few bodybuilders that were vegetarian, but I like eating meat.
You need the high-grade proteins provided by meat, not for energy as some say but more for you to take in that protein and iron to help build and repair your muscles.
How Much Meat Do You Need?
If we were to strike a general average, we would say a half-pound of meat (or fish) per person per day. (Remember that chicken, turkey, and all other types of fowl, are also meat.)
This amount may not supply all the high-grade protein a given individual could use, but the eggs, cheese, bread, cereals, and beans you use to round out your three meals will give you all the additional protein necessary. Any reasonably healthy person who eats a half-pound of meat a day, plus three glasses of skim milk, can certainly take care of his or her protein needs.
I must emphasize this point because too many people, trying to observe a regime of low-fat eating, are cutting themselves too low on meats. This applies, in the main, to individuals who are trying to follow a diet because they’ve had a coronary attack.
Also, in a few isolated cases, some of our experts may be a bit too radical in their thinking.
There’s not much sense in trading protein-deficiency symptoms for a possible freedom from coronary trouble, when you can so easily learn how to safely eat meat!
History Of Protein Deficiency
During the war, Army doctors and nutritionists took no chances on protein deficiency. They set the daily meat ration for the armed services at one pound per person. True to the American tradition, beef was the meat most called for. The same thing will probably be true in your home.
Of all the meat consumed in the United States each year, at least 50 percent is likely to be beef; 46 percent pork; and the remaining 4 percent is divided between lamb and mutton. Veal, which many of you may think of as being a separate meat, actually belongs in the category of beef.
We’ve seen a number of heart cases trying to live on what amounts to practically a meatless diet.
This isn’t objectionable as far as leaving out meat per se is concerned, but it is bad because these patients may be failing to get enough high-grade protein. figures, and adding up the amounts of hard fat it contains, you might decide that, as far as heartsaver eating is concerned, you had best not eat beef at all. You would be absolutely wrong.
There’s a tremendous difference between the original amount of fat in a piece of beef as you buy it, and the selfsame meat as you can prepare and eat it.
Types of Beef Cuts
The Prime and Choice cuts of beef and steaks, as we demand and enjoy them, are almost bound to be laden with fat. So, to begin with, we’ll have to ask the heartsaver wife to buy (more often) some of the lesser-grades of beef for everyday eating, because they usually contain much less fat.
These cuts, by their nature, can’t be served as tender steaks; so heartsaver menus will have to include more boiled beef, beef stews, steaks prepared Swiss style, etc. Buy the Good grade of beef, instead of Choice or Prime, and learn to tenderize it by various means.
The United States Government grades beef according to certain standards which have more to do with tenderness and fat content than the percentage of protein present in the meat. Many packers have then-own grade and brand with which you’ll have to acquaint yourself. It’s impossible to cover them within the scope of this article .
The names applied to various cuts of beef are confusing because they often are local names, depending upon the town or area in which you buy them.
Fat Content Grades of Beef
However, here is a general index which you can follow to buy less-fatty beef. These are over-all percentages of the fat content in various beef grades as purchased:
- Prime 32 percent fat
- Choice 28 percent fat
- Good 22 percent fat
- Commercial 18 percent fat
- Utility 14 percent fat
Is almost perfect from the “steak” viewpoint, and comes from steers, or the finest heifers, never from cows or bulls. Probably less than one half-of-one-percent of all meat falls within this category, and therefore, is found only in exclusive markets, and is usually bought-up by the more expensive restaurants.
Is the highest grade of beef regularly sold in retail stores. Suitable cuts make good steaks. Most cuts from Choice round, loin, rib, and chuck are tender enough to prepare by roasting and broiling.
Good Beef Grade
Is desirable, and the average person would find it difficult to distinguish between Good and Choice. Good is more reasonable, and excellent value for money spent. Outside round and outside chuck will be more tender when cooked with moist heat; other wise, the various cuts of Good grade may be cooked the same as Choice
is the lowest grade of meat sold in the retail market. Being lean, Utility grade beef is popular for pot roast and stews. All cuts should be cooked slowly, with moist heat.
Cutter and Canner Grade
Is seldom found at retail markets. This meat has fine protein nutritive value and flavor, but has to be specially cooked by moist heat. Packers use this grade for sausage and other processed meats.
It is easy to see from the fat composition figures that you can do a very good job of heartsaver eating-if you learn to prepare more tasty dishes from the lesser grades of beef.
Why is the Best Beef High Fat?
The Prime and Choice grades of beef are more tender largely because they contain more fat, making them more succulent and easy to chew-and more of a coronary menace. Rest assured that you can learn how to cook the lesser grades of beef to enjoy a lot of mighty good eating.
However, you are going to buy the fattier grades, too. If you make sure to cut away all the visible fat, you can safely serve them.