Skip to content

Food & Recipes

Font Size
A
A
A

Beef Buyers Guide

How to buy the healthiest beef at the grocery store.

WebMD Feature from "EatingWell"

Beef Buyer's GuideIf you love beef there are plenty of good reasons to keep it in your diet. Just be choosy about the cuts you buy—some are lean while others are loaded with fat. Reasonably sized portions of lean cuts of beef are a great source of protein and delicious complement to vegetables. Few foods provide as much zinc, a mineral vital to growth and a healthy immune system. Beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy type of fat that, according to preliminary research, may help with weight loss and could play a role in reducing risk for heart disease and maintaining strong bones. Here are some guidelines for choosing the healthiest beef at the supermarket.

Shopping Tips

Beef is given quality grades determined by the amount of marbling and the age of the animal, both of which affect the tenderness, juiciness and flavor of the meat. The USDA assigns three possible grades: Prime, Choice and Select. Prime meat has the most marbling (fat) within the meat, making it juicy and flavorful but also increasing its fat content (including saturated fat); Select has the least marbling; Choice is in the middle.

In the meat case, fresh beef should be bright red. Vacuum-packaged beef will be maroon because of the lack of oxygen. It should be firm to the touch with little to no excess moisture in the package and the packaging should be in good condition. Finally, be sure to check the "sell-by" date.

Healthy Choices

Tender cuts in the "loin" category, such as tenderloin, top loin and sirloin, and flavorful cuts like flank and strip steak are lean and best for quick-cooking, dry-heat techniques like sautéing, grilling and broiling. Tough cuts like chuck and round become tender with long, moist-heat cooking, such as stewing or braising. Always trim visible fat from whichever cut of beef you choose.

What Labels Mean

Raised Without Antibiotics: This term indicates that the cow was raised without antibiotics for health maintenance, disease prevention or treatment of disease. Medications not classified as antibiotics may still be used.

No Hormones: Producers that show documentation that they do not use hormones in raising their cows may use this label.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
grilled steak
Video
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
vegan soup
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow