(Lean) Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner (On the Grill)

Health and beef have been a controversial topic for several years now. However, beef continues to be a staple in many Iowans diet, especially on the grill, during warmer months. To debunk the beef and health controversy, let’s review five fun facts!


  1. Nutrient-Packed— One 3 oz. serving of beef is packed with 10 key nutrients (including protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins). For reference, 3 oz. is about the size of your smart phone.

  2. Heart Health—BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Diet) study showed adding a daily serving of nutrient-packed lean beef to a heart-healthy diet may lower the risk of heart disease by reducing “LDL” (bad) cholesterol levels.

  3. Beef as a First Food—Experts agree that breastfed infants need a good dietary source of iron and zinc by 6 months of age, which cannot be met by breastmilk alone. One way that you can boost iron and zinc for your child is by introducing pureed beef as a complementary food, while continuing to breastfeed.

  4. On the Grill—When using large amounts of marinades and sauces, excess sodium, sugar and calories can add up. Try a low-sodium, dry rub instead. Need more moisture on your dish? Try seasoning with freshly-squeezed lemon, lime or orange juice, or healthy oils such as olive or canola oil.

  5. Did you know?— Not only are lean meats better for you, but they're better for your grill, too. Fatty meats drip more and can cause more flare-ups, which can, in turn, burn your foods. Grease dripping on your grill also wears out the grill & metal parts faster.

Pro tip: Choose round and loin cuts of beef or at least 90% ground beef to ensure you are purchasing the leanest available.

Burger Foil Packs

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb. lean ground beef 1 large egg 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs 2 tbsp. barbecue sauce 1 tsp. garlic powder kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 c. broccoli florets 1 c. baby carrots 1 c. cubed potatoes 1/2 onion, chopped 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS: 1. Lay four 12x12; pieces of foil out on a flat surface and spray with cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 2. Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, and garlic powder in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into four patties and place one in the center of each piece of foil. 3. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, carrots, potatoes, onions, oil, and Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. 4. Top hamburger patties with veggies. Fold the sides of the foil up over the hamburger and veggies to seal and form a packet. 5. Grill until hamburgers are fully cooked and veggies are tender, 10 minutes on each side.

Nutrition Facts per serving:

355 calories, 16 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 107 mg cholesterol, 562 mg sodium, 274 mg potassium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 25 g protein.



Blog provided by Allysa Ballantini, MPP-D, RD, LD

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