Guilty Pleasure, Healthy Choice: Delicious Burgers that Won't Interfere with your New Year's Weight Loss Resolution

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Mythbuster: Dieters mistakenly believe that they have to eliminate red meat to live a heart healthy lifestyle and lose weight. Resolution-makers rejoice: with less than 9 grams of fat per serving, AHA certified Laura's Lean Beef makes biting into a juicy burger a gulit-free pleasure that's actually good for you, according to dieticians and nutritionists.

Laura's Lean Ground Beef healthy recipes for New Year's resolution makers

Guilty pleasure, healthy choice: high quality, naturally nutrient-rich foods like burgers made with lean beef help dieters get more essential nutrients in fewer calories.

"Frankly, beef has gotten a bad rap in the diet community," says dietician and diabetes educator Jenny Kramer.

Starting a diet and workout regimen to lose weight and get healthy is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and probably the shortest lived. Why? Because most diets focus on elimination and denial, when in reality, getting healthy is about including more of the foods that are good for you.

Many dieters believe that they have to replace the juicy burgers they love with chicken or fish because of beef’s reputation for being high in fat and cholesterol.

“Frankly, beef has gotten a bad rap in the diet community,” says Jenny Kramer, MS, RD, CDE, a dietician and diabetes educator at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. “High-quality, lean animal protein helps maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and fuel physical activity – all of which play an important role in an active, balanced lifestyle and disease prevention.”

With Laura’s Lean Beef, an averaged size burger contributes less than 10 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorous, niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin.

“According to the MyPyramid Food Guidance System, high quality, naturally nutrient-rich foods like low fat, lean beef help people get more essential nutrients in fewer calories,” adds Kramer.

Burgers as part of a Healthy Lifestyle?
Resolution-makers rejoice. With less than 9 grams of fat per 4 oz. serving*, Laura’s Lean Beef makes biting into a hot, juicy burger a guilt-free pleasure that’s actually good for you.

Burgers have a reputation as a significant source of fat and saturated fat. It is, to a degree, a reputation that is deserved. Many of the things associated with this all-American favorite contribute to its unhealthy image, starting with the beef itself. The most popular types of ground beef used in burgers, especially restaurant fare, have as much as 30% fat content.

Add a fiberless white bun, bacon, cheese, some fries, and a can of sugary soda to wash it down, and burgers become a major contributor of fat to the American diet.But, prepared with lean or extra lean ground beef and paired with delicious health-boosting toppings, this classic comfort food is suddenly transformed into a burger with benefits.

All Beef Isn’t Created Equal
When it comes to choosing ground beef, it’s important to realize that all are not created equal. Most inexpensive ground beef sold in grocery stores contain exceedingly high amounts of fat and saturated fat. With less than 9g of fat, Laura’s Lean Ground Beef has less total fat than a skinless chicken thigh. The total fat content in Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Round is comparable to a skinless chicken breast.

This is possible because Laura’s relies on leaner breeds of cattle like Limousin and Charolais, versus the popular Angus, and uses sustainable farming methods that yield exceptionally lean beef. The cattle are humanely raised, without growth hormones or antibiotics, and fed with a vegetarian diet of grasses and grains.

The result? Beef that is so low in fat and saturated fat that it meets the government’s definition for "lean" or "extra lean."

For a food to be considered “lean,” it must contain less than 10g of fat, 4.5g (or less) of saturated fat and less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving. To be classified as “extra lean,” it must contain less than 5g of fat, less than 2g of saturated fat and less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving.

Laura’s 92% Lean Ground Beef falls into the “lean” category. As “extra lean” alternatives, consumers can choose Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Round and Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Sirloin, both of which are certified by the American Heart Association.

Where’s the Beef in your New Year’s Resolution?
With Laura’s Lean Beef products, resolution-makers can feel better about enjoying a burger while deriving all of the benefits of lean beef in their diet. Here are links to popular recipes available at http://www.laurasleanbeef.com.

ª Asian Burger
http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/inTheKitchen/recipes/recipeshow.php?rcid=55

ª Bello Burgers on Sauteed Vegetables
http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/inTheKitchen/recipes/recipeshow.php?rcid=82

ª Island Burger with Fruit Salsa
http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/inTheKitchen/recipes/recipeshow.php?rcid=242

ª Black and Blue Burgers
http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/inTheKitchen/recipes/recipeshow.php?rcid=208

Laura's Lean Beef is the only meat company to have its products recognized by both the Good Housekeeping Seal and the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA’s Food Certification Program identifies products that meet the association’s food criteria guidelines for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. The GH Seal and AHA HeartCheck are the most trusted consumer emblems, with 82% of people being more likely to purchase items carrying those certifications.

Laura’s Lean Beef products are available in nearly 7,000 grocery stores nationwide. The company offers a complete selection of fresh cuts of beef, frozen patties and award winning pre-cooked entrees. For retailers, visit http://www.laurasleanbeef.com.

*Nutrition analysis performed on uncooked product.

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Mischel Schonberg
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