Friday, August 2, 2013

Get in the game... with game meats!

I encourage my clients who are red meat lovers to really try to limit their intake of it since study after study has shown that those who eat the most red and processed meats have the highest rates of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dying early. New research shows there is more to it than just the high saturated fat content of red meat that is bad for you. Recent studies have shown that disease risk can be affected by the iron content in red meats, carcinogens formed when the meat is cooked, and carnitine content. Regardless, red meat in moderation (ie: 3 oz less than once/wk) should be okay. 

For those that really like the taste of beef, I always recommend venison (aka: deer meat) or bison. These are very lean game meats that taste like beef, but have lower levels of saturated fat, but very high levels of zinc- which is a very important nutrient for your immune system and reproduction. Zinc is difficult to get through most foods we eat, since the best sources are shellfish, grass-fed beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, and game meats. Game meats also tend to contain high levels of protein, Vitamin B12, and other B vitamins. One thing people need to be cautious of is that some game meats have higher levels of lead because of lead bullets used to kill the animal, so just be sure to look into that before you begin buying and eating game meats regularly.

I was recently shipped a sample of ground venison from the Michigan Venison Company, which was very easy to work with and delicious. I found that it tasted very similar to ground beef, even though it is significantly leaner . I mixed up a few patties with vegetables to add more moisture, oatmeal, and lots of spices (turmeric, garlic, chili and chipotle powders, and probably others...). I was very impressed with this company, because as you can read on their website ( deer they use is wild American whitetail deer. The venison is hand-packaged and even came shipped in a case with pine, so it smelled like  you were in the forest. 

My recommendations: As with any meat, I recommend sticking to the more natural forms (ie: steaks) as opposed to more processed varieties (ie: sausage), but do not be afraid to experiment with the game meats. You still need to keep your portion size down (you only need the palm of your hand sized meat/protein per day!), and be sure not to add things that would make these otherwise healthy meats not-so-healthy such as lots of cheese, bacon, or high-sodium sauces. Teresa’s Next Door in downtown Wayne, PA usually has a game meat dish available weekly, and there are some great restaurants in the Philadelphia area that offer these on their regular menus. So next time you are out, play a game and go wild!

Reference: Worlds Healthiest Foods, venison

Note: I was shipped a free sample of venison and was not paid or encouraged by the Michigan Venison Company to write a positive review.

No comments: