Monday, July 28, 2014

More Info for Less Cholesterol - Red Meat


I got a call from my Doctor (yes, I have a rare doctor who calls me.)  He called to tell me my blood test results were back.  Good news, my iron count was up some.  Bad news, my cholesterol was up over 50 points or whatever they call them.  So I've started looking up information that will stop it from rising and hopefully bring it back down.  I'll be passing this information along to you with hopes it will help you too.

#1 - Reduce meat portions in size and increase complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes).  (I eat red meat maybe 3-4 times a month.  I'm just not a fan and besides, cows are cute.  But when I do eat red meat I eat very small portions so I'm ok here.)
#2 - Use only lean-grade meat and trim it of all visible fat before cooking.  (I actually quit eating red meat, especially ground beef, after learning what was actually in the so called meat.  Pink slime, by-products and fillers.  If you want a good education on what is in your burger, look these up.  When I do eat red meat I buy organic only.  The price is another reason I seldom eat red meat.)
#3 - Broil, roast, bake or barbecue meats as these methods allow the fat to drip away during cooking.  (I'm good here too.  I almost never fry anything but I have learned that you can coat a piece of meat with egg wash and bread crumbs (etc.), quick fry to brown the crumbs, place the meat on a racked baking dish and finish cooking in the oven.  This allows the grease absorbed while browning as well as what is naturally in the meat to drip out but still keep your meat crispy.)
#4 - Cook meat to medium or well-done to maximize the fat loss during cooking.  (I have to admit that IF I eat a steak I want it medium rare.  All other red meat I want well done.)
#5 - Avoid frying foods in hydrogenated margarine or animal fats; instead use chicken or beef broth, wine, water, flavored vinegar, or use a non-stick pan.  (If I do the quick fry I use canola oil so I'm ok there.  For any other cooking I've actually found that most red meat is so full of 'water' or whatever that you need to cook that out before you add any type of flavoring other than salt and pepper.  I actually brown my meat, such as a roast, without oil, place it in a slow cooker and when the liquid has cooked out, (shrinking the meat to half the size it was when I put it in the pot) I strain the liquid through a white paper towel removing all grease.  Then I add flavoring and cook until done.) 
#6 - Always de-fat meat drippings and broths by refrigeration (the fat coagulates and can be skimmed and discarded) before using in gravies or sauces.  (I have used this method of removing fat but like the straining better.)
#7 - Avoid packaged, canned or frozen meat dishes as their fat content  cannot be controlled.  (When I started reading labels I found the salt content in most canned meats was terrible so I don't buy packaged, canned or frozen meat dishes.  Due to this I have no idea how the cholesterol count may be.  And processed meats in the deli is another type of food I don't buy.  Look up fillers and by-products and you'll be careful about buying them too.  From what I've found there are 2 companies that states their deli meats are 85% real meat.  The others are from 16% meat and slowly up.)
#8 - Be careful of restaurant foods, especially fast foods, as their fat content cannot be controlled.  (Most of my eating out consists of 2 meats - fish and chicken.  I can't remember the last time I ate beef at a restaurant so I'm ok there too.)


My next research on cholesterol will be for poultry and seafood so stay tuned.
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