SOURCE: National Cattleman's Beef Association

August 25, 2017 09:55 ET

Stay Lean with Protein

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Aug 25, 2017) - (Family Features) Shedding excess pounds doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods, including red meat. A study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center shows that healthy, higher-protein diets including lean beef can be beneficial to not only weight loss, but also maintaining muscle mass and heart health.

The study is in line with ongoing research on the importance of lean protein for weight loss. To kick your healthy eating plan into high gear, try these tips:

  • Enjoy protein at every meal. One of the benefits of having protein in your meal is feeling more satisfied, which helps reduce mindless eating or snacking in between meals. Additionally, meals with high-quality protein help build muscle and reduce body fat.

  • Choose lean protein options. Picking lean protein options can be easier than you think. You can still enjoy a beef burger and save calories by choosing lean or extra-lean ground beef. Other smart meat case picks include top sirloin steak or sirloin tip, bottom round steak or roast, eye of round steak or roast, or top round steak or roast. Also make sure to choose colorful vegetables and fruits to round out your meal, like in this recipe for Grilled Southwestern Steak and Colorful Vegetables.

  • Dine out smart. Many people struggle with getting a balanced, protein-filled meal when dining out or grabbing food on-the-go. Look for words like "grilled," "broiled" or "baked" when browsing the menu for lean proteins. Or add a lean protein to your entree salad, whether it's for lunch or dinner. For snack time, consider beef jerky to get protein on-the-go.

For meal ideas and tips to support your weight loss goals, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

 
Grilled Southwestern Steak and Colorful Vegetables 
Recipe courtesy of the Beef Checkoff 
Total time: 25-35 minutes 
Servings: 6 
     
1   beef top round steak, cut 1-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    salt, to taste
     
Marinade: 
1/4   cup fresh lime juice
1/4   cup prepared mild salsa
1   tablespoon chopped garlic
1   tablespoon olive oil
1   teaspoon ground cumin
1/2   teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
     
Colorful Vegetables: 
2   tablespoons olive oil
1   medium green or red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
8   ounces button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2   cups zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4   teaspoon ground cumin
1/2   teaspoon salt
1/4   teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1   cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4   cup chopped green onions
     

In small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours, or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. For medium-rare (145 F) doneness, grill covered, turning once, 12-14 minutes (on gas grill over medium heat, 16-19 minutes).

To prepare Colorful Vegetables: In large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add bell pepper strips; cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, zucchini, cumin, salt and black pepper; cook and stir 3-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and green onions; cook and stir 1 minute.

Carve steak into thin slices; season with salt, to taste. Serve with Colorful Vegetables.

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