Monday, February 4, 2013

I Heart Beef!

Alex with her furry family, Josie and Gus
Since February is National Heart Month, today I’m featuring a guest post from supermarket dietitian Alexandra Economy, from Winona, Minnesota. I first met Alex when she was one of my traveling buddies to the Show Me the Blog Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. There she prepared a dairy recipe as part of our Midwest Dairy presentation. 

Since our farm not only has dairy cows, but also raises steers for beef, this lean beef topic is a perfect fit for My Barnyard View.
Lean Beef for Heart Health

Yes, I’m a dietitian and I fully admit that I love beef. While growing up in northern Minnesota, my favorite meals included beef brisket sandwiches, charcoal-grilled steaks and goulash casserole made with ground beef.

I am thrilled to share news of the latest research on lean beef from a study known as BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, and found that consuming lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol by 10%, which is just as effective as the DASH diet (the gold standard of heart-healthy diets).

Due to advancements in science, cattle farmers are actually raising beef that is leaner than it was fifty years ago. Over half the fat in beef is actually monounsaturated fat - the same type of heart-healthy fat found in olive oil. Beef is also packed with protein, B-vitamins, iron, zinc and other nutrients important for good health. A person would have to eat 670 calories in peanut butter to get the same amount of protein in 150 calories of lean beef.

How to choose the leanest cuts of beef? Look for the words “loin” or “round” in the name of the cut, such as top sirloin steak, bottom round roast or tenderloin roast. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association recognizes over 29 cuts of beef that meet the USDA’s guidelines for “lean.” For tips on cooking methods and recipes, check out, and be sure to try out the Skillet Steak with Sautéed Wild 
 Mushrooms recipe I’ve provided. You will love the delicious blend of savory flavors!

Alexandra Economy, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee, Inc. and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Skillet Steak with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings

All you need:

1 to 1-1/4 pounds beef top sirloin steaks, cut 1-inch thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel)
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and pepper

All you do:

1.      Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 clove minced garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove; keep warm.

2.      Combine thyme and remaining garlic; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 8 to 11 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter.

3.      Carve steaks into slices. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Top with mushrooms.

Note: Three cups sliced button mushrooms can be substituted for assorted wild mushrooms.

Nutrition information per serving: 195 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 71 mg cholesterol; 8 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fiber; 26 g protein; 9.2 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.3 mg iron; 31.5 mcg selenium; 5.4 mg zinc; 18.5 mg choline. Source:


  1. Thanks for the helpful info about lean beef, Alex! The recipe sounds delicious. I only wish there was a photo because I need a little extra help in the kitchen :)

  2. I think your culinary skills are better than you give yourself credit for. Enjoy the recipe!