Beef: A part of a healthy diet.

I have welcomed a fellow dietitian and blogger, Jen Haugen, to share her thoughts with you today. You can follow her at

Hi, I am Jen and I am a registered dietitian, and most importantly a mom to two awesome kids. Are they the healthiest eaters? No. Do I keep trying each and every day to offer them healthy choices? Why, YES! I’ve even made over my husband’s eating habits after about 13-plus years. So I know there is hope for my kids! Clean slates are easier to work with compared to teaching an old dog new tricks – sorry honey. I love working in the supermarket as a retail dietitian where each and every day I get to promote healthy choices. I love to garden with my family and work in the kitchen together creating a healthy meal my family will love while creating special memories all at the same time. You can find recipes, nutrition tips and real life advice you can trust from a nutrition expert in my Down-To-Earth Dietitian Blog.

And because April so graciously allowed me to be her guest – I wanted to honor our profession as supermarket dietitians by tackling one of the most common questions we receive in the aisles – “Can I eat red meat as part of heart-healthy diet?”
Why, it’s a resounding YES!

Lean beef can be part of a heart-healthy diet. The key here is “part of”. Many people think that eating beef causes their cholesterol to rise therefore increasing their risk of heart disease. But they are surprised to learn that there are 29 cuts of lean beef that meet the criteria of “Lean”. Here are the 29 cuts:

What is lean? Lean means that a 3-ounce cooked portion has less than 10 grams of total fat, less than 4.5 grams saturated fat and less than 95 mg cholesterol. And when you incorporate up to 4 ounces of lean beef every day as part of a heart-healthy diet, research shows you can lower your cholesterol by up to 10%.

What does “part of a heart-healthy diet” mean? Heart-healthy diets are just that, they are healthy for your heart. They incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables – five cups a day – and whole grains as well as low-fat dairy. They also include good-for-you monounsaturated fats. In fact, half the fat found in lean cuts of beef is from monounsaturated fat – the same type of fat found in olive and canola oil.

What would a heart-healthy meal look like for a family with kids? This is a super easy meal that my family loves. The flavor is excellent and the meat is tender (if you don’t overcook it!).
• Easy Asian Stir-Fry (lots of veggies and lean protein)
• Brown rice (whole grain) – I cook up a whole batch of brown rice and freeze it in 3 cup portions in my freezer for easy use in meals.
• 1 medium apple (fruit)
• 1 cup fat-free milk (dairy)

Jens Blog

Easy Asian Stir-Fry

Serves 4.
What it takes:
• 1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut ¾-inch thick
• ¾ cup prepared Asian Sesame Ginger salad dressing
• 1 package (16 ounces) frozen Asian vegetable blend (such as carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas)
• ¼ cup water
• 2 teaspoons canola oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
What to do:
1. Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/8-inch thick strips. Place beef and ¼ cup of salad dressing in food-safe plastic bag; turn beef to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
2. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot; add vegetables and water. Cover and cook 7-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir occasionally. Remove vegetables and keep warm.
3. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add ½ of the beef and garlic. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface is no longer pink (okay on the inside). Do not overcook. Remove from skillet and repeat with remaining oil, beef and garlic.
4. Return vegetables and beef to skillet. Stir in remaining ½ cup salad dressing. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Recipe adapted from
For more healthy meal ideas for your family, visit


About thisRDeats

A mix of realism, humor, tips and delicious recipes. I am a mother, wife, passionate sewer and registered dietitian. I want to show people that food is medicine and getting back in the kitchen is the key to health. I love everything about food: gardening, shopping, cooking and most of all, EATING! Notice that "dishes" isn't on that list.... Food isn't perfect. It nourishes our minds, bodies and souls! As a blogger, journalist, speaker and broadcast professional, I enjoy talking about food and nutrition for websites, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. I also work with companies to provide customized nutrition education and recipe development.
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1 Response to Beef: A part of a healthy diet.

  1. Jen Haugen says:

    It was great to be a part of your blog, thanks for letting me share! Honored to work with you!


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