Healthy Food Tip- How to select your poultry and meat

What is the best way to select poultry and meat?
When selecting any type of meat we should try and meet two broad health goals. First, we should be trying to select meats that are high-quality and not contaminated with residues of hormones, antibiotics, and other health-compromising substances. Second, we should be choosing meats that are not high in total fat or saturated fat.
Luckily, when it comes to that first goal of high-quality meat, the national organics law does a good job of protecting us. The quality of animal foods can be more difficult to assure than the quality of plant foods since animals (compared to plants) eat relatively large amounts of food and live for relatively long periods of time before slaughter. For this reason, environmental contaminants can be more readily stored and concentrated in meat through a process called biomagnification. This makes the selection of high-quality meat products especially important.
Organically certified beef and chicken protect you in a fundamental way from many contaminants potentially found in these animal foods. Organic also guarantees animal husbandry that has not relied on routine use of growth hormones or antibiotics to keep the animals healthy. While organic does not always guarantee that the animals were grass-fed or range-fed, many organic producers also use these practices (indicated on their labels as “grass-fed” or “range-fed” or “free ranging”). Certified organic chicken and beef obtained from range-fed animals gives you the best chance to obtain extremely high quality products.
We’re still left with the question of fat content, however. Organically raised, grass-fed or range-fed animals can still be slaughtered and packaged into products that are high in total fat or saturated fat. In order to make sure that you’re selecting lower fat products, I strongly recommend that you consider the cut of meat involved. Cows use their hind legs as their primary source of locomotion, and for this reason, cuts of beef from the back legs are the lowest in fat and highest in muscle protein. Therefore, if you select cuts from the back leg bone (called the round bone) you will be getting cuts with the least amount of fat. My top recommendation here is eye of round, followed by top round, and then bottom round. These cuts of steak can also be handed back to the butcher in your supermarket for grinding into ground beef. They are almost always lower in fat than the ground beef sitting in the meat section, since that ground beef has seldom been cut from the round.
With poultry, the equivalent low-fat area is the breast. Therefore my recommended cuts for both turkey and chicken are the breast sections. Ordinarily, I would also recommend that you purchase skinned chicken or turkey breast since the skin contains a substantial amount of fat. However, in this case, I recommend that you purchase chicken and turkey breast with the skin still on. I’m making this recommendation in order for you to cook the breast with the skin on, which helps retain its moisture; the skin is removed once it has been cooked. Based on the research in this area, I am confident that you will not be consuming a problematically higher amount of fat by waiting to skin your poultry after cooking. But you will end up with a more spectacular meal!
Remember that these two health goals go hand-in-hand. Certified organic and grass-fed or range-fed chickens and cows will give you the high quality that you are looking for. Selecting certain cuts from each type of meat will give you amounts of total fat and saturated fat that can usually be integrated into a Healthiest Way of Eating.

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