Getting to the meat of it

Raise your hand if you’re not a professional chef.

*raises hand*

If you’re inexperienced in the kitchen, the idea of tacking meat might be scary. Unless you’re a vegetarian, chances are you’ll want to add a little bit of meat to your diet for a protein punch. It’s easy to turn to raw fruits and vegetables when creating your new diet, but why back away from the challenge of managing the meats?

There are, of course, different health benefits to different types of meat. For those of you that are considering adding a meaty portion to your next meal, take into consideration these tips from our doctors:

Red vs. White

We’re not talking about wine here.

When it comes to meat, you’ll often hear some people say they “don’t eat red meat.” There are a few health reasons behind this. Dr. Giannone explains why white meat might be a healthier option for your diet.

“We generally consider white meat to be more healthier than red, as the latter has a higher proportion of unhealthy saturated and trans-fats.” — Dr. Dean Giannone

What’s the Beef with Beef

Of course, just because white meat has a lower proportion of unhealthy saturated and trans-fats doesn’t mean you need to avoid it completely (though, be sure to talk to a doctor before you decide!) For most people, it’s fine to have red meat as part of a balanced diet. Dr. Kwok recommends how you can keep meats like beef in your life.

“As with all things in life, do everything in moderation. Beef is fine, but that depends on how much beef one eats over time. For example, 4 ounces of beef every day is fine. But, 40 ounces of beef every day is an abnormally huge amount. Life is about balance. Balance is what matters.” — Dr. Robert Kwok

Something Fishy

Many people turn to fish because it’s seen as a light and healthy meat option. A white fish is healthy and easy to prepare, but there are definitely a few things to look out for. One of these things is the mercury levels:

“Fish with very high potential mercury levels include: Shark, Swordfish, Marlin, King Mackerel, Big Eye & AHI Tuna, Orange Roughy & Tilefish.
Limit intake of Yellowfin and White Albacore Tuna, Spanish & Gulf Maceral, Group, Bluefish & Chilean Sea Bass. For healthier mercury levels try: Crabs, Crawdads, Haddock, Flounder, Salmon, Shrimp, Oysters, Anchovies, Herring, Mullet, Sole…” — Dr. Heidi Fowler

Now that we have a few meaty pieces of advice, it’s time to get cooking! We found a great recipe from GoodHousekeeping to help you get started. You’ll be a MasterChef in no time!

Roasted Salmon with Crispy Potatoes and Broccoli

What You’ll Need

1 head broccoli
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
1 large red onion
3 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
pepper
1½ lb. skinless salmon fillet
¼ c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ clove garlic

What You’ll Do

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the broccoli, potatoes, and onion with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes.
  2. Season the salmon with 1/4 teaspoons each salt and pepper, nestle it among the vegetables and continue roasting until the vegetables are golden brown and tender and the salmon is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic. Serve with the fish and the vegetables.

Author: Maya Gilliss-Chapman