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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Heart Healthy Lean Beef Recipes

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- (Family Features) These days, many people are re-evaluating their diets to lower cholesterol and fat. They're looking closely at foods to eliminate or cut back. One item that shouldn't be on the chopping block is lean beef.

It may be surprising, but lean and extra lean beef are nutrient-rich sources of protein that complement a low-fat diet. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a healthy lean diet that includes lean beef as well as fruit, whole grains, vegetables and nuts, showed similar effects on cardiovascular disease as a similar diet without lean beef. In the study, people using either diet showed a reduction in LDL cholesterol compared to those eating the typical healthy American diet.

Mitzi Dulan, a nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert and team sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals, understands that lean meat is an essential part of a healthy diet. "Lean and extra lean beef have tremendous nutritional benefits and provide more bang for your buck to healthy diets," said Dulan. "Adding lean beef into meals is a quick and easy way to inject necessary protein in your diet, in a low-fat, heart healthy way."

Dulan recommends several considerations for using lean beef in a healthy diet:

  • Look for beef that is "lean," which by USDA definition contains less than 10g of fat, 4.5g or less of saturated fat, and less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving. "Extra lean" contains less than 5g of fat, 2g of saturated fat and 95mg of cholesterol per serving. Brands such as Laura's Lean Beef are excellent options.

  • Lean beef can be easily substituted into many favorite and time-honored meals to make versions that are delicious and lower in fat and cholesterol. Whether making chili in the cold winter months or burgers for summer grilling, lean beef is a quick fix for healthier meals.

  • Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, which provides fuel for the body, helps maintain a stable blood sugar level and takes longer to digest, helping to reduce cravings. While the benefits are real, those looking to obtain a healthy diet must, as with anything, remain mindful of portion control.

For more tips and recipes using lean beef, visit

Classic Beef Stew
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Makes 8 servings

1         tablespoon oil
2         pounds Laura's Lean Eye of Round Roast cut into 2-inch cubes
2         cups sliced onions
4         cloves garlic, chopped
1         green bell pepper, sliced
4         large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
8         medium carrots
4         large baking potatoes (about 2 pounds) cut into eighths
1         28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1         15-ounce can tomato sauce
1         tablespoon soy sauce
1         teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1         cup fat-free beef stock (double strength)
1         tablespoon dried basil
          Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in skillet. On medium-high heat, sear meat cubes in skillet until browned on all sides.

In a separate bowl, combine canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, basil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture over meat and vegetables in roasting pan.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 degrees F and bake for 2 hours or until meat is very tender to the fork. Baste occasionally.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
CALORIES 260 (15% from fat); FAT 4.5g (sat 1.6g); PROTEIN 31.9g; CARB 26.5g; FIBER 8.8g; CHOL 51mg; IRON 13.2mg; SODIUM 547mg.

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