- Calories: 150 (3 Ounces, Sirloin)
- Originated: Scandinavia
- Main Health Benefit: Protein Packed
- Other Known Benefits: Source of Iron, Cholesterol Level,
- High in: Protein
If you ask a lot of people in the United States what their favorite food is, there’s a good chance that a lot of them are going to say steak. There are a lot of different forms of steak, and it comes from many different animals that includes anything from deer to bison, but the one we’re focusing on is the standard beef steak. The ribeye is the most popular form of steak, with New York strip and t-bone behind it.
When it comes to the type of steak that you should be eating when you need to satisfy your carnivorous cravings, sirloin is the one that stands out. Sirloin tends to have the lowest amount of calories with very little fat while still having plenty of protein and great taste. There are a lot of people that will tell you that you shouldn’t be eating red meat much (if at all), but it does have its benefits. To make you feel better about diving into a steak, let’s take a look at the proven health benefits that you can get from eating it.
Nutrition of Steak
For the nutrition of steak, we’ll focus on the sirloin type that we mentioned was the healthiest of the beef options. Each three ounce portion of sirloin steak has no carbohydrates, but does have more than half of your recommended amount of protein. You won’t see any fiber, but there is very little fat (seven percent of recommendation) and a solid amount of vitamins. The most abundant vitamins in steak are niacin (38 percent), vitamin B6 (29 percent) and vitamin B12 (21 percent).
Other vitamins that can be found in lower amounts include vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. You’ll also be getting some valuable minerals from steak, with a high amount of selenium (47 percent), zinc (32 percent) and phosphorus (22 percent). Coming in at around 10 percent of your daily recommendation includes iron, magnesium, potassium and copper, while there is a small amount of calcium. While there is cholesterol in steak, you can control it with a healthy overall diet.
If you have seen people that are constantly at the gym trying to build muscle, you’ll see them eat a lot of lean meat that includes steak. Sirloin steaks don’t have high fat content, but have the amount that your body needs to keep operating without causing weight gain. It also helps that the calorie count is rather low at only 50 calories per ounce. Three of those ounces are filled with protein, getting you more than half of what you need on a daily basis.
With the ability to build more muscle and add more protein to your diet, you’ll also be burning more calories and fat overall. Those that want to cut carbohydrates from their diet should be looking to sirloin steak, as it’s incredibly filling and won’t bring any carbs. If you have heard of the paleo diet where people cut down carbs, you’d know that steak is a big part of the weight loss plan.
Protein isn’t the only staple in steak, as there’s plenty of iron in each serving that your body needs. Iron does a lot of different good things for your body, starting with the blood. Iron helps you form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. From one cell to another, more oxygen in your system will increase your overall brain health, helping to avoid problems such as cognitive function loss or Alzheimer’s.
For those that feel fatigued many times throughout the week, it’s possible that you could have an iron deficiency known as anemia. Getting enough iron will make sure that you’re not feeling anemic or suffering from the symptoms involved that include headaches. Also, iron works with protein to help build muscles and make them work more efficiently.
Is It Heart Healthy?
There are many types of steak out there that aren’t going to be good for your heart health, especially if you’re eating steak multiple times each week. However, studies have shown that you can actually help your heart by eating leaner meats that include sirloin steak. One major study showed that people who ate lean meats that were low in saturated fat had lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels when eaten in moderation.
Another study out of Japan that had more than 300,000 participants showed that there wasn’t a correlation between eating certain types of steak and a rise in heart disease. Of course, lowering your cholesterol levels and blood pressure should come mainly from a fruit and vegetable based diet, but don’t rule out steak just yet. Let’s just say, the studies were a huge relief for us steak fans.
We already mentioned how high in iron steak is, and how it also has a fair amount of calcium. Niacin is another big vitamin that you can get from steak, which will have some great benefits from your bones. Arthritis is a condition that affects many people around the world, especially as you start to get older. Adding niacin can help to open up your blood vessels that are near the joints, alleviating arthritis pain. That same vitamin can also help you sleep easier, which is good news for those insomniacs out there.
The last mineral we want to discuss is one that steak has a lot of, and that’s selenium. Selenium has plenty of antioxidants, while also helping to lower your chances of cancer and increase fertility. Perhaps, above all, selenium has a huge benefit for your thyroid. Gaining or losing too much weight in a short amount of time can occur because of an over or underactive thyroid, but selenium regulates this organ. You’ll also be able to fight off many different diseases, and ease the symptoms of asthma with more selenium.
Summing it Up
As you know, there are always going to be those people who say that you should never eat red meat. As long as you control the amount of red meat you’re eating, your body will be fine (and in most cases even better). The serving size we recommend is three ounces of sirloin once or twice per week to see the benefits. Eating too much red meat (no matter how lean) can cause damage to your veins, and thus, your heart.
You’ll also want to make sure that your meat is cooked thoroughly. While some people can stomach steak that’s nearly raw, making sure that the bacteria is gone can be done by being cooked all the way. Too much red meat is also not good for your digestive system, causing continuous problems. Limiting the steak in your diet is a good thing, but as long as you are keeping the levels low each week and picking out more organic and lean types of steak, you’ll end up seeing great benefits.