Are you craving a big juicy steak, full of saturated fat and calories?
WAIT! First there are some things you must know prior to heading to the steak house. For one thing, how much weight you’ll gain from all those greasy calories. And– is it even healthy to eat?!
Find out what steak really does to your body below.
Here’s the Breakdown
It depends on the cut, but approximately 50% of steak calories are from protein.
Ultimately, the other 50% of calories come from fat.
That also means that steak has zero carbohydrates; which is good news if you are watching carbs.
Overall, 16-ounce porterhouse has about 1100 calories. (Don’t freak out yet…)
The Olive Oil Part
51% of the fat in beef is monounsaturated, with 90% of that being oleic acid.
Oleic acid is the same fat you find in olive oil– which is in essence the reason the Mediterranean diet is considered heart healthy. 1
Saturated Fat Won’t Kill You
Yes, approximately 45% of steak fat is saturated fat, but 30% that is stearic acid.
But stearic acid is not at all linked to heart disease– and may in fact protect you from it.2, 3, 4
The Vegetable Oil Part
On the other hand, 4% is polyunsaturated, like vegetable oils– like the ones you’re told you should eat.
However, replacing saturated fat from animals with omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats will actually increase the death rate of those who already have heart disease.5
So in summary, the ‘heart-healthy’ recommendations doctors dole out to decrease beef consumption and increase vegetable fats could be doing more harm than good.6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Low-Fat Diets and Heart Disease
Rather, eating beef on a daily basis can improve cholesterol levels, especially the good kind.11, 12
In fact, under so-called heart-healthy low-fat recommendations, fat consumption has dropped from 40% to 30% in the last 30 years. In the meantime, consumption of red meat peaked in the 1970’s. And yet, obesity has doubled with these trends.13
And heart disease by the way? It’s still the number one killer in America.14
(A quick look at sugar consumption,15 obesity,16 and diabetes trends17 provides a better explanation for heart disease.)**
Steak Fat, Calories, and Body Fat
But will you gain a bunch of weight if you eat a big old steak?
Pennsylvania State University researchers found that study participants who ate beef every day did not start gaining weight.18
Furthermore, researchers have found that for obese people who were fed diets of 90 percent fat, 90 percent protein, and 90 percent carbohydrates, respectively, the high-fat and high-protein groups lost the most weight.19
So even with a high calorie, high fat diet, people were able to lose weight!
For healthy weight loss, focus on eating real protein from meat sources, and don’t worry about the fat.
For Once and for All…
Enjoy your steak with peace of mind.
If you need to start eating better so you can lose weight, Personal Trainer Food can help.
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**With this in mind, please consult your doctor for advice concerning your cholesterol levels. You may want to bring them some articles to discuss how a low-sugar diet may help you.
About the Writer: 100 pounds ago, Jan knew what it is like to be obese, unhappy, and stuck. She has spent the last 17 years as a fitness writer, trainer, yoga teacher, and Weight Loss Coach. Today, she’s proud to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team so she can continue her goal to help others live their fullest lives possible. Email Jan@PersonalTrainerFood.com if you have any questions!
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