Friday, February 1, 2008

Meats and Alternatives

  • Only 3 oz. or ½ cup of meat, fish, poultry, or ¾ cup of cooked beans equals a serving of meat and alternatives. Other options include 2 eggs or 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • Choose lean cuts of meat (a good tip is to choose those containing the word “loin” – sirloin and tenderloin), and skinless breast meat for poultry.
  • Ground beef can be substituted with ground skinless 98% lean turkey breast.
  • This works well in any application for ground meat: sauces, meatballs, casseroles, meatloaves, burgers and chilis.
  • When making shaped items (like burgers, meatloaves and meatballs), take care to not over-work the meat. It is leaner than beef or pork, so will be very dry and tough if stirred or mashed too hard. Barely mix the ingredients through.
  • If your goal is to reduce calories and fat in your diet, ensure that it is skinless turkey breast meat, and not just ground turkey (which can contain the undesirably fatty skin). Read the labels!
  • There are great alternatives to greasy side bacon – lean back (Canadian) bacon, turkey or chicken bacon, or even vegetarian “bacon strips” (such as Yves’) add variety to breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
  • Eat at least two servings of fish each week. Choose fish such as char, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout for the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Meat alternatives (such as beans and lentils) are an inexpensive source of protein, and are high in fibre and low in fat. Experiment with navy, kidney and black beans, chick peas, and lentils (red, green or brown) in soups, chili, salads and pasta sauces.
  • Tofu products (such as simulated chicken strips and ground meat) make wonderful substitutions for their meat counterparts.
  • Textured Vegetable Protein can be found under the So Soya brand, and is a dry, shelf-stable protein source that provides complete protein as well as fibre and other nutrients for minimal calories and fat. 1 ½ cups dry TVP plus 1 1/3 cups hot liquid (water, broth or juice) = 1 lb ground meat in recipes
  • Use dry roasted nuts and seeds without added oils or salt sparingly – ¼ cup is all it takes to make a serving, and they are high in fat.

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