BEEF, LEAN AND GRASS-FED
USDA-certified 100 percent organic beef is free of antibiotics,
chemicals, and added hormones. Grass-fed, it becomes even better and a
small part of what to eat, especially at a feast.
WATER-COOLER FACT: Compared with a three-ounce serving of skinless
chicken breast, a three-ounce serving of lean beef has just one more
gram of saturated fat, eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc,
and three times more iron.
WHAT’S IN IT: In all four-legged animals, the tenderloin runs along the
middle of the spine and is the leanest and most tender (hence the name)
part of the animal. Beef is a very good source of protein and vitamin
B12, and it is a good source of vitamins B2, B6, and niacin. A four-ounce
portion of broiled beef tenderloin has 240 calories and thirty-two grams
of protein. The tenderloins of grass-fed cattle have higher levels of
protein, conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A
and E than the tenderloins of corn-fed beef. Cattle are what they eat:
pasture grass has up to fifteen times more alpha-linolenic acid (an
omega-3) than feed lot grain mixes. Half of the fat in beef is
monounsaturated; olive oil is 77 percent monounsaturated.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Replacing iron for people with iron-deficiency
anemia. The downside: most men and postmenopausal women do not
need additional iron in their diets, as it is an oxidant, so keep portions
Red meat contains heme iron, the type most readily absorbed by the body, as well as
carnosine (an amino acid, also highly bioavailable), which may help people with
BISON OR BUFFALO
Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam . . . because if you’re
going to eat meat, bison is among the most nutritious, leanest, tastiest,
and lowest in saturated fat.
WATER-COOLER FACT: Bison are the largest land mammal in North
America since the end of the Ice Age. Hunted almost to extinction in the
late nineteenth century, their numbers have rebounded.
WHAT’S IN IT: Bison meat has less fat, fewer calories, and less
cholesterol than beef, and it has more iron and vitamin B12. It is also
more tender. A hundred-gram (3.3-ounce) serving of cooked lean bison
has 143 calories, and grass-fed bison have higher levels of omega-3 fatty
acids than corn-fed bison. It can be used in any recipe that calls for beef:
cook medium-rare for the richest flavor.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Saving your immune system from chemicals. Its
omega-3s are important in reducing risk for heart disease. Bison are not
given growth hormones or antibiotics. For some people, it’s steak
Wine, tea, and coffee help stop iron absorption from plant and dairy foods.
The salmon is a very smart fish. It swims around in the ocean for years
and then when it’s time to spawn, it finds its way back to the freshwater
stream to where it was born. It’s no wonder that eating salmon bestows
many health and brain benefits.
WATER-COOLER FACT: The fatty acid EPA in salmon appears to protect
skin against sunburn by reducing inflammation induced by the
ultraviolet B rays of the sun.
WHAT’S IN IT: Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty
acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (decosahexagenoic acid) and
of vitamin D and selenium; a very good source of protein, niacin, and
vitamin B12; and a good source of vitamin B6. A four-ounce portion of
baked Chinook salmon has twenty-one hundred milligrams of omega-3s.
Seven ounces of raw wild salmon has 281 calories.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Preventing sudden death, stroke, and keeping
your brain healthy. The Nurses’ Health Study reports that death from
heart disease was 29 percent to 34 percent lower in women who
consumed fish once a week than those who ate fish less than once a
month. Eating baked or broiled but not fried fish once weekly lowers
heart rate and decreases heart rate variability. Japanese researchers
found that of over forty thousand men and women followed for ten
years, those who ate fish eight times weekly versus just once had 56
percent lower heart attack risk. Also, salmon may help protect you from
Alzheimer’s. Of 815 home-care patients who participated in a study,
those who ate fish once a week had a 60 percent lower risk of
Wild salmon are the richest in vitamin D because they eat a diet rich in zooplankton,
exposed to sunlight in the sea.
Poor little sardines—stuffed in a can and usually destined to end up as
a snack on top of a cracker. In the ChefMD eating plan, however, they
reach the pinnacle of culinary pride as one of our fifty fabulous ChefMD
recommended foods. The sardine finally gets the respect it deserves!
WATER-COOLER FACT: Buy canned sardines that are packed in oil, so
you get all the omega-3. Buy fresh sardines whenever they are available.
WHAT’S IN IT: Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12; a very
good source of selenium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein;
and a good source of calcium and vitamin B3. A 3.5-ounce serving of
sardines in sardine oil contains about thirty-three hundred milligrams of
omega-3 fatty acids. An ounce of sardines—about two canned fish—has
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Protecting you from macular degeneration, the
leading cause of blindness in the United States. People who consume
omega-3-rich fish like sardines once a week reduce their early macular
degeneration risk by 42 percent; those who eat fish three times a week
reduce their risk by 75 percent. Sardines and other oily fish can also
reduce triglyceride levels. Lactating mothers who eat three ounces of
sardines twice weekly provide their infants with more omega-3 fatty
acids in their breast milk, and omega-3s have been shown to aid infants’
brain development and to protect their mental health and intelligence.
Don’t fry sardines, as frying causes a significant negative change in the omega-6 to
omega-3 fatty acid ratio in the fish.
Ben Franklin was very disappointed when the bald eagle was chosen
as the national bird because he really liked turkeys. Well, ChefMD is
siding with ole Ben on this one. Turkey is a great choice in poultry for
flavor and nutrition.
WATER-COOLER FACT: In Mexico, turkey with mole sauce (mole de
guajolote) is so popular that it’s considered by many to be the national
WHAT’S IN IT: Like all poultry, turkey is an excellent source of the
amino acid tryptophan, a very good source of lean protein and selenium,
and a good source of vitamin B6.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Maintaining optimal health. Turkey is a good
source of lean protein and is rich in selenium, which is involved in
thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune
function, and DNA repair. Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps
to control insulin and blood sugar.
Ounce for ounce, a turkey breast contains less fat, less cholesterol, more protein,
and more iron than a chicken breast.
DOCTOR IT UP!
You can cook turkey with the skin and remove it afterward; it protects the bird from
drying out but does not add calories or fat.