Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TIP - Which cuts of meat are the leanest?

Lean meat kebabs

Protein is an important and necessary part of our daily diet, and much of it comes from meat (unless we are vegetarians). Meat protein comes mainly from the muscles of mammals, birds and fish. Unfortunately, animal muscles also contain fat, so to avoid eating too much fat, it is important to choose the leanest possible cuts of meat.

The leanest beef choices are chuck, round, sirloin and tenderloin. The leanest cuts of pork are loin chops and tenderloin. The white breast meat of chicken and turkey is the leanest choice, without the skin.

Of course, the style of preparation also impacts the fat content of a meat dish. And don’t forget portion size. Limit a serving of meat to 3 ounces, which will look about the size of a deck of cards.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

TIP - Schedule to develop new habits

When we want to achieve a healthier lifestyle, this usually means establishing new habits, which is not an instantaneous thing to do. Habits become habitual through purposeful repetition. The best way to establish a new activity as a habit is to consciously schedule it into your daily routine.

Need to exercise more regularly? Schedule two days a week to meet your buddy at the gym and put it in your weekly calendar app. Should you be stretching a few minutes every hour you are at your computer? Set an online alarm. Have you been putting off sending thank you notes? Commit to writing one every day before breakfast.

Want to walk for 15 minutes after lunch? Put that in your daily planner. Trying to add meditation to your stress reduction strategies? Tell your family that the first 15 minutes after you arrive home from work are your time to shut the door to your room and sit quietly. Do dirty dishes tend to piled up in the sink? Remind yourself to wash them after each meal before returning to other activities.

Having a set schedule for the new activity gives you a sense of control over that aspect of your new, improved lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The End of Cookout Season

Person grilling food

Do you grill or broil your steak or chicken? Do you regularly eat meats that are cooked at a high enough temperature to char the outside?

You may be putting yourself at risk for high blood pressure.

It has long been known that eating red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with high blood pressure. The evidence relating chicken and fish (white meats) to high blood pressure had been unclear until recent research that focused on cooking methods.

When red or white meat proteins are exposed to high temperatures or charred, heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) chemicals are formed. This cooking method also creates polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and advanced glycation end products. Animal studies have shown these three types of chemicals to all be hazardous, inducing oxidative stress, insulin resistance and inflammation. Those physiological conditions can increase the risk of developing hypertension.

Researchers studied people who ate meat at least twice a week. They found that those who ate well-done meat or who cooked meat at high temperatures or exposed to open flames had a greater risk for high blood pressure.

Not yet convinced to put away the hibachi and turn in your barbecue tongs? The researchers also found that cooking meats at high temperatures was also linked to weight gain and a risk of obesity. These are both factors increasing the risk of high blood pressure in addition to other health risks.

Read an interview with the head researcher here.