“Where’s the beef?” 81–year–old actress Clara Peller uttered this popular catchphrase in a 1980s ad campaign. Although it’s not clear if eating burgers contributed to her longevity, research shows moderate red meat consumption can be part of a healthy diet — a good source of iron, vitamins B and D, and proteins.
Follow these tips when consuming beef, pork, venison, or lamb:
- Use the food plate: The United States Department of Agriculture recommends 5–6.5 ounces from the meat and beans group (depending on your age and gender). Consuming too much has been linked to higher risk of some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
- Go lean: Cuts such as round steaks and roasts, top loin, top sirloin, chuck shoulder, and arm roasts — are healthier. The best pork choices are pork loin, tenderloin, and center loin. Ground beef should be at least 90% lean.
- Avoid processed meats: They have more sodium and saturated fat than regular red meat and can increase the risk for colorectal cancer.