Healthy Living Blog

Getting Beefy

Tina Miller, MS RDN Meijer Healthy Living Advisor,



Beef is good for you….there….I said it!  As a health educator and registered dietitian, like my peers, I’m often talking about the benefits of a plant-centered diet.  Unfortunately that message can be misinterpreted as “eat plants and avoid meat”.   When we as health professionals refer to plant centered, we want you to eat more vegetables and fruit, however, lean beef also fits nicely into a plant-centered diet.

Beef Tips:  Did you know….

  • There are nearly 50 cuts of lean beef available. Loin and round cuts tend to be leanest
  • Beef is an excellent source of complete protein and is an excellent or good source of:
    • Selenium (anti-oxidant, helps protect body cells from damage)
    • Zinc (helps support healthy immune system)
    • Niacin (supports metabolism and energy production)
    • Vitamin B12 (energy vitamin, helps support brain health)
    • Vitamin B6 (supports brain health)
    • Iron – Under-consumed by adolescent girls & women 19-50 years (supports healthy blood, helps transport oxygen to cells and prevent fatigue)
    • Riboflavin (helps metabolize food to fuel your body)
    • Choline – 2015 Dietary Guidelines Nutrient of concern (under-consumed by most Americans, important nutrient to support nervous system)
    • Phosphorous (promotes bone and dental health)


  • Half of beef’s fatty acids are monounsaturated (good) fat–the same kind found in olive oil
  • 1/3 of beef’s saturated fatty acid is stearic acid – a neutral fat that does not promote heart disease.
  • Beef contributes 10% or less of saturated fat and total fat in the American diet. Top 5 Saturated Fat Leaders (Contribution to American Diet, NCI):

Regular Cheese, Pizza, Grain-based Desserts, Dairy Desserts Chicken, Mixed Chicken Dishes


Beef and Heart Health: Epidemiological studies show mixed associations, but clinical trials show no difference between chicken/fish and beef on cholesterol and other lipid risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Beef and Cancer Risk:

  • There is no “cause and effect” evidence that red meat consumption causes cancer. A low, weak association risk worldwide has been noted in some studies while no association has been noted in other studies.
  • “In terms of cancer risk there is no reason to cut meat completely from your diet”


Get Cooking with Beef!


Makes 4 servings


1 beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)

2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced-fat or regular balsamic vinaigrette, divided

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

12 cups mixed salad greens

4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

Salt and pepper


  1. Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette; set aside. Press chile powder onto beef steak. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange onions around steak. Grill steak, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill onions 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.
  2. Separate onion slices into rings. Carve steak into slices. Season beef and onions with salt and pepper, as desired.
  3. Toss salad greens with remaining 1/3 cup vinaigrette and divide among 4 salad plates. Top with tomatoes, onions and beef.

Nutrition information (per serving): 246 calories; 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 70 mg cholesterol; 411 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 6.5 g fiber; 30 g protein.

Recipe Source:



Makes 8 servings.


1 Certified Angus Beef Bottom Round Roast or beef Chuck Center Roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup whiskey (beef broth may be substituted)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided

1 (6 ounce can) tomato paste

4 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided

1/4 cup molasses

1-1/2 teaspoons salt (can be reduced to ½ teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon True Goodness by Meijer® ground red pepper

1 tablespoon True Goodness by Meijer® Dijon-style mustard

2 cups shredded carrots

2 cups diced Granny Smith apples



  1. Place roast in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker.
  2. Combine whiskey, 1/4 cup vinegar, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, molasses, salt and pepper; pour over roast.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or on LOW 8 to 10 hours, or until beef fork-tender.
  4. Remove roast from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from sauce as needed. Return beef to slow cooker.
  5. To make the slaw: Combine remaining 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and mustard in large bowl. Add carrots and apples; mix well. Season with salt and black pepper as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve beef with slaw.


Beef Test Kitchen Tips:

This recipe can be made in a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. Place beef roast in pressure cooker; add 1/2 cup beef broth. Close and lock pressure cooker lid. Use beef, stew or high-pressure setting on pressure cooker; program 90 minutes on pressure cooker timer. Use quick-release feature to release pressure; carefully remove lid. Shred beef; return to pressure cooker. Combine cooking liquid, whiskey, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, molasses, salt and pepper in small saucepan. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Combine sauce and shredded beef. Continue as directed in Step 3.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 363 calories; 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 84 mg cholesterol; 725 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 5.0 g fiber; 31 g protein


Recipe Source: