How to Make Meat Healthy? Healthy Living Part 4

Diet is an important factor in the cause and cure of many ills. A diet comprising not more than 10 to 20 per cent of fat in calories can offer some measure of protection against heart and blood vessel disease.

As the meat like beef, veal, and lamb are naturally high in both visible and “invisible” fat and cholesterol. It is extremely important to remove the fat from them, since their protein content is most desirable for energy and palatability, and because of custom, they are basic ingredients in the low-fat diet.

The visible fat must be carefully cut away and trimmed while raw, before cooking. During the cooking, baking, or broiling of the meat, the fat should be drained off by keeping the meat or roast on racks.

One ideal way of removing most of the fat content of meat and making it almost fat free is to partially cook it on the day before it is to be eaten. Refrigerate the meat and the broth. On the following day it is now easy to remove the layer of grease that has floated to the top and hardened.

Buy and eat lean meats. If you are having ground meat, specify to the butcher that it is to be made from trimmed, lean meat. Bear in mind that the highest fat content is present in the prime and choice grades of beef, lamb, and veal (which are more expensive too), since they originate from fattened animals.

Do not fry meats. Pan-cook or brown without fat or grease, if desired, by using a dry skillet; heat and salt it first before the meat is placed in it, while turning the meat repeatedly. After it is as brown as desired, cook slowly until well done or rare, whichever you wish.

Remember that among meats pork, bacon, and ham are highest in fat and cholesterol content. They should not be eaten on the low-fat diet other than occasionally, if permitted by your doctor or by the virtual absence of other fat-containing foods in your menus for the day. The same is generally true of sausages.

Glandular organs such as sweetbreads, brains, kidneys, caviar, fish roe, and giblets are high in cholesterol and fat content, so should be avoided.

Liver is an exception, it is quite desirable as a valuable nutritional source of essential vitamins and minerals, and because of the “protective” content of phospholipids that counteract the action of fat and cholesterol, it is not harmful. However, people who are on low carb diet should avoid liver, as it contains carbohydrates, because that is where the animal starch (glycogen) is stored.

If gravy is desired for the flavoring of meats, it must be prepared free of its usual very high fat content. The regular brown drippings found at the bottom of the pan after meat is cooked must have the meat juices separated from the exceptionally high melted fats. Separate the fat in this gravy by chilling or refrigeration.

Remove the thick layer of caked grease as described above by spoon and by blotting with bread or absorbent paper. Fat-free gravies can also be made by consulting various low-fat cookbooks.

Instead of gravies, meats can be flavored and made to look appetizing by the following garnishes: watercress, parsley, celery, carrots, radishes, pimento, pickles, paprika, green peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, and onions in various shapes and combinations.

Also helpful are spiced peaches, pears, prunes, apricots, cinnamon apples, spiced watermelon rind, apple sauce, cinnamon pears, pineapple pieces, broiled bananas, seasoned tomatoes, herbs, and the various relishes such as mint jellies and sauces, chili, catsup, cranberry jellies, chutney, and many others. Also appealing are some of the following seasonings: garlic cloves, thyme, marjoram, basil, oregano, bay, and peppermint.

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