Can You Eat Steak If You Have High Cholesterol?

Mar 31, 2014

How many times have I heard "can you eat a beef steak if you have high cholesterol?" What may surprise you is that a good grass fed organic steak is a LOT healthier for you than foods such as soy or talapia. Neither soy or talapia can aid you in reducing cholesterol while beef steak can.

The reason is three fold:

  1. The omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio in organic grass fed beef is about 1 to 3 whereas in regular farmed steak it is about 1:20. Neither soy or talapia has much omega-3 to speak of: omega-3 is shown to help regulate and balance cholesterol. People with a high omega-3 intake have higher HDL "good" cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides.
  2. The principle fat in organic grass fed beef is oleic acid. Yes, the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and avocadoes. Who would have thought.
  3. The main saturated fat is stearic acid, which has been shown to raise HDL or "good cholesterol levels. Stearic acid is metabolized in the body to oleic acid.

This means as much as 70% of the fat content in steaks goes to improve your cholesterol levels.

A new study published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating beef every day can actually improve cholesterol levels. In the study, participants consumed 4 to 5.4 ounces of lean beef a day in place of chicken or fish along with their whole grains, vegetables and fruit, their levels of harmful LDL cholesterol decreased by about 10 percent. This is the same as those on a chicken and fish only diet.

What is the story? Why was beef lambasted for so long? It turns out that good lean beef was lumped into the same category as processed fatty and chemical laden meats. Much like eggs, butter and potatoes, steak is another food that is an excellent addition to a heart healthy diet, as long as it's fresh, grass fed, organic and lean.

A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that beef is an important factor in cholesterol lowering diet. The study demonstrated that diets ...

The answer to the question: "Can you eat a beef steak if you have high cholesterol?" is a qualified "YES", as long as it's organic grass-fed beef. Expensive you say? How much money are you going to save if you don't have to pay for frequent doctor's visits and prescriptions. Furthermore, many insurances give a rebate if you don't submit claims AND you get big discounts on certain insurances when you are healthy, especially long term care insurance. And finally, improving the quality of life while extending it is priceless, at least to me.

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