Quality not quantity
Article courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
For more information visit www.beeflambnz.co.nz.
For teenagers and active young people, food is all about quantity as well as quality. They need to eat enough to support their growth spurts and active lifestyles. As time moves on, the importance of food’s quality takes over from quantity. Whilst many people remain active, most have stopped growing. In fact, the goal can be to stop the parts that shouldn’t be growing, such as broadening girths.
While less calories, or kilojoules as they’re called nowadays, are required, the same amounts of ‘nuts and bolts’ are needed. That is the vitamins and minerals, each of which has an essential role in keeping us fit and healthy. So which foods are nutrient-rich, without being full of too many kilojoules?
Lean red meat is packed full of nutrients essential to our health and well-being. Described as nature’s ‘power pack’, lean beef and lamb are legitimate national favourites, for you to enjoy and feel good about eating.
Best known as a major source of iron, the iron in beef and lamb is used much more easily by the body than that in vegetables and cereals. There are still many New Zealanders, particularly women, going short of iron. A shortage of vitamin B12 is also becoming of increasing concern, particularly amongst older people. This exclusive vitamin is only found in animal foods, so a mixed diet is essential to ensure its inclusion.
The protein in red meat is the best quality. Although the building blocks of growth for children, protein is also essential for those recovering from surgery or illness. The other great nutritional healer is zinc. Zinc is needed to fight infection and heal wounds, as well as numerous other body functions. Beef and lamb are the most commonly eaten sources of zinc in New Zealand.
What about the kilojoules? Beef and lamb are leaner than ever before, containing 30% less fat than 10 years. Many cuts are low enough in fat to earn the Heart Foundation’s ‘Tick’. Look out for it on pack in your butcher’s shop or supermarket. Our green New Zealand pasture also makes that small amount of fat better for us. Half of it is the healthier unsaturated fat, which includes omega 3s. As most New Zealanders don’t eat enough fish to obtain all their required omega 3s, lean beef and lamb offer delicious alternatives to popping fish oil pills!
Although subject to market fluctuations, red meat can also be highly cost effective due to the wide range of available cuts. Winter is an ideal time of year to use the slower cooking, secondary cuts of meat, ensuring hearty, satisfying meals can be prepared at a fraction of the cost of more expensive cuts. Put together with plenty of vegetables and potatoes, rice or pasta, whether celebrating a special occasion, looking for every day meals or in need of nourishing comfort food, our home-produced red meat fits the bill. Not only do we love it; it’s good for us too. Beef + Lamb: Feel Twice as Good.Fiona CarruthersNutrition Manager, New Zealand Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau