Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meat in Moderation: BMI = 29.1

Meat is very dense in essential nutrients, so you don’t need a lot to round out your diet. The Canada Food Guide recommends small daily portions of non-processed meat, frequently substituted by beans, lentils, or tofu, and, occasionally substituted by fish. The primary benefit of meat and fish is that they are a very dense source of whole proteins.

I buy ready-cooked, sliced roast beef. It’s a bit expensive but I only eat it 2 ounces at a time so it’s much more convenient for me to buy it this way. Beef is a good source of vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iron, and niacin. Stay away from processed beef like pastrami or Montreal smoked meat and try to stick to very lean cuts of roasted or grilled beef.

As with beef, I buy my pork ready-cooked and sliced. This makes it very convenient to grab a half ounce portion at breakfast (I eat a little lean protein with every meal). Pork supplies roughly the same micronutrients as beef, in different proportions, but also delivers plenty of thiamin. Stay away from bacon and ham, though.

In researching this blog, I found out that the albacore tuna I stocked up on is, sadly, rather high in mercury. I recommend checking out the Health Canada advisory on mercury in fish. Once you’ve selected fish that doesn’t have problematic levels of mercury for you, make sure to have at least 2 servings per week in place of meat.

Beans, lentils and tofu can be a good substitute for meat and the Canada Food Guide recommends substituting them in place of meat often. I don’t care for tofu, but I might just embrace a Quebecois tradition and start having a small side of baked beans with my breakfast. (They really do that here).

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