If you’re into grilling, chances are that you love a juicy steak after it has been seared and rested before serving.
Second in popularity only to the ever-reliable hamburger, steak is a grilled classic, but is it good for you?
If you want to make better food choices you’ve probably asked the question: is grilled steak healthy?
Not only is steak safe to eat, but it can also have benefits when enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Let’s look at the details and see how you can enjoy a steak from your grill, guilt-free.
The Benefits of Grilled Steak
Steak is a nutrient-rich food, but it’s important to note that there are distinctions between different cuts of steak.
While fatty steak is excellent for grilling, thanks to its tenderness, it’s best to enjoy these cuts in moderation as they contain more calories per ounce.
The top sirloin is a lean cut, while the top round roast and bottom round roast have a moderate amount of fat while remaining good dietary choices in moderation.
- Grilled Steak is Protein Rich – If you’re looking for a clean protein source, steak is one of the best out there. Protein is essential for everything from muscle maintenance and development to healthy hair and nails. Steak is an excellent source of dietary protein with virtually no carbohydrates.
- Grilled Steak is a Source of Iron – All beef, including steak, is a rich source of iron. Iron is easily absorbed into the body when it is sourced from red meat. Eating steak occasionally can help to keep iron levels stable and prevent anemia. If you rotate steak, fish, and poultry in your diet, you can reduce your risk of developing an iron deficiency.
- Grilled Steak Can Help Keep Your Teeth Healthy – Steak is a source of phosphorus, an important chemical element that is used by the body to maintain teeth and enamel. As part of a balanced diet, grilled steak could help to protect your smile.
- Steak Contains Micronutrients – Steak is mostly known as a rich source of iron and protein, but it also contains other micronutrients that can help to ensure you are at your healthiest. B group Vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids (in grass-fed beef), selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Zinc are all found in steak.
When you grill lean cuts, you’ll enjoy all the beneficial components of steak without the extra calories.
If you do prefer fatty cuts, try to limit your consumption of these to once or twice every month.
Lean cuts can still be incredibly tender even without the fat content.
Marinate your steak and cook to medium-rare to keep the meat from getting too tough.
Or, you can cook low and slow over a few hours to break down the connective tissues in thick roast cuts, resulting in tender and flavorful steak.
What Makes Grilled Steak Healthy?
Grilled steak is better than steak cooked in a pan, due to the differences in cooking methods.
When cooking steak in a pan on your stovetop, you’ll probably add a significant amount of oil or even baste in butter.
This adds more calories to what is already a dense food, which can result in too many calories and eventual weight gain.
Adding butter and too much oil may also cause problems with cholesterol and heart health.
Grilled food is inherently healthy. When you cook on the grill, the excess fat drips down onto the coals or gas burner shields and is vaporized.
This vapor is reincorporated into food as a crust on the sear, making the steak leaner but even more flavorful.
How to Make Lean Steak Tender with the Perfect Cooking Time
Lean steaks are known to be tougher if they aren’t cooked just right.
The key is to maintain the juiciness while avoiding overcooking the steak. Temperature is key.
If you want a classic thick and juicy steak, top sirloin is the best lean cut to choose.
Relatively affordable, it’s a much healthier option than premium cuts like ribeye that can be as much as 50% fat.
Sirloin benefits a lot from a marinade. Soy sauce is the perfect base. Choose a light soy sauce if you’re looking to reduce salt in your diet.
Combine the following ingredients for a marinade that will make top sirloin a hit:
- 1/3 cup soy sauce.
- 1/3 cup olive oil.
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Cracked black pepper to taste.
- 3 crushed garlic cloves.
Blend all the ingredients and marinate your steaks in the fridge for six to eight hours.
Before cooking, let the steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Steaks should be 1-¼ inches thick.
You could also marinate or rub with any of your favorite recipes.
Heat your grill to high temperature and sear on both sides for around 8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 130°F.
This is the perfect temperature for a juicy and flavorful sirloin steak.
Let the meat rest for five minutes before slicing across the grain and serving.
The Meater Plus is one of the best meat thermometers on the market and it’s well worth the investment.
It connects wirelessly to your smartphone so that you can monitor cooking temperatures in real-time.
Is Grilled Steak Healthy? The Final Word
You’ve asked one of the most common questions that home cooks ask: is grilled steak healthy?
The answer is yes, as long as you enjoy it in moderation.
Steak, like any other type of food, should be enjoyed within a balanced diet with fresh vegetables, fruit, and grains.
If you have special dietary requirements due to a health condition, check with your doctor first.
For some people with too much iron in the blood, it is recommended to cut back on steak and consume fewer meals with red meat.
It all depends on your circumstances.
Enjoy grilled steak. When you stick to moderation and choose lean cuts, you’ll enjoy the rich flavor with plenty of protein and micronutrients.