Lean choices

21 July, 2006

Whenever I am involved in training anyone involved in the meat industry about nutrition, the conversation often gets around to what they should

say to those who have been found to have raised cholesterol levels.

Most people realise that raised cholesterol levels are linked with a risk of coronary heart disease.

For those with raised cholesterol levels, advice is given on diet and lifestyles which includes:

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables - to provide at least five portions a day

2. Include foods such as oats and lentils, which contain a form of fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol levels

3. Reduce fat, especially saturated fat

4. Watch your weight

5. Cut down on salt

6. Take more exercise and try to give up smoking

The general advice should be to use lean red meat, as it is quite low in fat. For example, raw fully-trimmed beef, has only about 5% fat, pork about 4% fat and lamb only about 8% fat.

Almost 40% of the fat that is found in meat is in the form of monounsaturated fat.

This is the beneficial type of fat associated with the Mediterranean diet, as it is found in olive oil. Red meat is also low in salt.

Apart from offal, such as liver or kidney, red meat is not a rich source of cholesterol. So, for even the lowest fat diet, red meat provides a nutritious

meal when served with vegetables, either as a traditional roast or in a dish such as a casserole or curry.

Mabel Blades


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