Red Meat Isn't What It Used to Be

Cattle used to be entirely grass fed, but starting in the second half of the last century, they started feeding them corn to fatten them up. The resultant cut of marbled meat often had more fat in it than meat.

Things have reversed themselves slightly since modern meat eaters prefer a leaner cut of meat, but today's meat is still a lot fattier than nature intended it to be. The fat is mostly saturated, but much of the rest of it, courtesy of the corn diet, is comprised of way too many omega-6 fatty acids. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 3 or even 2 to 1, but thanks to all that corn the ratio is more likely 20 to 1.

Corn Fed vs. Grass Fed Steak

Corn Fed vs. Grass Fed Steak

Granted, fears of saturated fat in general are a little trumped up, but humans still aren't made to repeatedly eat huge boluses of fats in one sitting, unless they're regulars at the "all the blubber you can eat" Eskimo buffet at the Shungnak, Alaska, Denny's.

Regularly eating high amounts of fat for extended periods of time has been associated with all sorts of modern maladies in repeated studies, and an undesirable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 introduces a slightly different set of medical problems.

Of course, it's relatively easy to dump a good deal of the fat from ground beef simply by browning it and then draining it. There are also plenty of other ways to make your meat safer.

You can also, of course, choose leaner cuts of steaks. A rib eye is generally the fattiest steak, having about 270 calories per 100 grams of meat, while a T-bone, at 210 calories per 100 grams, is second. The flat iron steak is the leanest (and most bland), with about 140 calories and 7 grams of fat per 100 grams of meat.

A good flavor compromise, though, is the filet, with 155 calories per 100 grams.

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