Steak is a classic ingredient that works well in countless recipes. It can also be the star of the plate when you cook on a gas or charcoal grill.
When eaten in moderation, beef provides essential vitamins and proteins that you need for health and longevity. If you’re planning to cook steak on your new grill, you’ll want to know how healthy it is.
Let’s take a look at simple grilled steak and find out.
What’s in Steak? How Healthy is Your Favorite Grilled Food?
Steak typically refers to a beef cut that is sliced across the muscle fibers. Steak is rich in protein and fat and has a relatively high sodium content. There are several important micronutrients found in steak that can be beneficial when included in a balanced diet.
Tenderloin is a popular steak for grilling. Per 3 ounces of tenderloin, steak contains:
- 179 calories.
- 26 grams of protein.
- 6 grams of fat.
- 0 grams of fiber.
- 0 grams of carbohydrate.
- 0 grams of sugar.
- 60 milligrams of sodium.
Steak contains small amounts of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, selenium, and niacin. If the steak is grass-fed, it will contain higher levels of vitamin A and E.
While steak is not a complete food, it is an excellent source of protein. Being free of carbohydrates including sugar, steak is ideal for low-carb diets and weight loss when eaten in small quantities.
Adding sauce, especially soy sauce and prepared BBQ sauce, will add high amounts of sodium and sugar to grilled steak.
You can make your steak healthier by lightly seasoning it with pepper and salt, or using a spice rub with minimal salt.
Grilling Reduces the Fat
Cooking steak in a pan means you’ll end up eating a lot of the fat that was present in the raw meat. If you are cooking with butter, there will be even more fat adding to the calories and potential long-term health problems.
Grilling is an inherently healthier way of cooking because fat drips off the meat, is vaporized, and then gets reintegrated as flavor around the edge of the food.
The fat takes on new characteristics when grilled, making for a leaner meal, even if you don’t specifically choose a lean cut.
Choose the Right Cut
The problem with some cuts of steak is the fat content. Fat is calorie-dense, and consuming too much can lead to high cholesterol, hypertension, and heart disease.
Choosing the right cut will directly influence how healthy your grilled steak is.
Leaner is better. When shopping for steak at a butcher, deli, or supermarket, aim for a lean or extra-lean cut. The average 3.5-ounce lean steak contains 10 grams of fat, while an extra-lean steak usually contains around 2 grams of fat.
The exact type of cut is more than just preference. The cuts with the lowest amount of fat are:
- Eye Round.
- Sirloin-Tip Side.
- Tenderloin with trimmed fat.
- Top Sirloin.
- Bottom Round.
- Top Round.
Of course, if you do like a cut with more fat, you can still enjoy your grilled steak in moderation. Fattier cuts should be enjoyed no more than once a month.
A Great Option for Home Cooking on a Grill
Steak is one of the healthiest proteins that you can eat, as long as you go easy on the sauce and choose the right cut. When eaten in moderation, you can continue to enjoy the rich flavor and wonderful texture of steak for many years to come.
Grilling is one of the best ways to cook steak, making the meat leaner and more tender. If you’re craving a juicy steak today, you can fire up your grill and enjoy a perfectly cooked steak without any guilt.