Four Reasons You Should Be Eating Beef

Four Reasons You Should Be Eating Beef

Sun Basket's Director of Nutrition, Lindsey Kane Cuts into Some Myths About Steak

Long pilloried as a bad boy of the nutrition world, beef has been blamed as a cause for a host of chronic diseases. Environmentalists have taken a dim view of it, too, as cattle have been identified as a major contributor to greenhouse gases. While some studies show a correlation between meat consumption and mortality, these studies are looking at populations with many other confounding variables known to be associated with poor health outcomes like low fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking, little physical activity, and diets high in processed food. 

But one study sought out to determine if the quality of the meat mattered. Turns out that it does. It found They found.  you look at research focused on populations following a high-quality diet and healthy lifestyle, there’s no increased risk of mortality associated with eating meat. When part of a whole food, nutrient-rich diet paired with an overall healthy lifestyle, meat consumption has not been associated with an increased risk of mortality, especially when the source of meat is high quality, grass fed, and organic. 

Sun Basket's Director of Nutrition, Lindsey Kane outlines what the stakes are for beef eaters. 

1. Energy Boosting Protein 

When it comes to this essential nutrient, beef is hard to beat. The average cut weighs in at 7 to 8 grams of protein per ounce, compared to the average vegetable, which contains just 1 to 5 grams of protein per ounce. The dietary reference intake for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. This translates to a daily dose of 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound adult. Beef also includes all of the essential amino acids—the building blocks used to build and maintain muscle mass, heal and repair tissue, and synthesize important hormones and enzymes. Only a handful of vegetables can make the same claim. Because protein is slow burning fuel, it’s digested slowly, translating into increased satiety and long-lasting energy.

2. Disease-Fighting Fats

A source of monounsaturated and saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, beef’s fat content, is a big part of what makes it controversial. But the fat in beef is not the demon it was once made out to be. In fact, grass-fed beef is a source of those good-for-your-heart Omega 3 fatty acids. Of late, a special type of fat only found in ruminant animals (cows, sheep, lamb) known as CLA (conjugated linolenic acid) has entered the scientific spotlight. While technically a trans fat, this naturally occurring version functions much differently than chemically formulated transfats. Emerging evidence points to a correlation between CLA and a reduction in heart disease and cancer.

3. Health Promoting Vitamins and Minerals 

  • Vitamin B6: Plays a role in a multitude of functions, ranging from antibody production to support immunity, to nerve function, oxygen transportation, protein metabolism, and blood-sugar regulation.
  • Vitamin B12: Nearly exclusive to animal sources, B12 plays a critical role in red blood cell function, and the central nervous system.
  • Vitamin E: Increases the body’s immunity and disease-fighting powers. 
  • Iron: Heme iron, the type found in beef and other animal proteins, exists in a unique molecular structure that increases its bioavailability, while the plant-derived non-heme iron is less easily utilized. Iron supports healthy red blood cell production, oxygen transportation, and prevents iron-deficient anemia.  
  • Niacin: A major player in digestion, energy production, and nerve function. Low levels of niacin have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Phosphorus: Particularly important for healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also involved in kidney function, muscle contractions, nerve conduction, and a healthy heartbeat. 
  • Zinc: Supports growth, maintenance, and immunity. 

4. Grass-fed: Better for You and Better for the Planet 

The nutritional value of beef is a direct reflection of what cows eat. Animals raised entirely on grass tends to be leaner and more nutrient-rich with a higher concentration of antioxidants, vitamin E, and, CLA, and omega 3 fatty acids, those grain fed beef. 

Well-managed grazing and grass-fed operations can help conserve soil, reduce erosion and water pollution while increasing carbon sequestration and preserving biodiversity and wildlife. Organic feed production and grazing practices reduce fertilizer and pesticide runoff into waterways, and the use of compost, cover-cropping, and rotational grazing helps build healthy, water-conserving soils. Organic methods keep pests and weeds at bay, without the use of chemicals, and ultimately foster greater resiliency in the face of extreme weather and climate change.

Sun Basket’s beef is always antibiotic and hormone-free, and is responsibly sourced from ranchers who share our commitment to sustainable agriculture and humane animal welfare.

Now, with select Sun Basket recipes, you can choose your favorite cut of beef. The options include:  

  • Top Sirloin ✔️Humanely Raised ✔️No Antibiotics ✔️No Hormones

These 5-ounce steaks of grass-fed, grain-finished beef have just the right amount of marbling to deliver great flavor without too much fat. Versatile with a full-on beefy flavor, our humanely raised, hormone-free top sirloins cook up juicy and tender and are an excellent source of the high-quality protein your body needs to maintain a healthy weight and build muscle. 

  • Filet Mignon ✔️Organic ✔️100% Grass-Fed ✔️Humanely Raised ✔️No Antibiotics ✔️No Hormones

A symbol of luxury and indulgence, our organic, grass-fed filet mignon is lean yet rich, with just 11 grams of fat per 5 ounce medallion. Renowned for its buttery texture, filet mignon has a notable amount of high-quality protein, iron, and vitamin B12, which promotes the development and maintenance of red blood cells and nerves. Cook them quickly to preserve their tenderness; this cut is best enjoyed rare to medium rare. 

  • New York Strip Steak ✔️Organic ✔️100% Grass-Fed ✔️Humanely Raised ✔️No Antibiotics ✔️No Hormones

First made popular in Manhattan’s storied 19-century steakhouses, this 12-ounce strip is prized for its fine texture and bold, beefy flavor. This organic, 100% grass-fed steak delivers a whopping 72 grams of protein and is one of the leanest of all cuts of beef. Try it grilled or pan-seared as a top choice for both flavor and tenderness.

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