ground meat healthy

Is all ground meat inherently fatty? Not necessarily, but if you’re substituting things like ground chicken and ground turkey for ground beef, there are some health concerns to consider. Here are some thoughts about ground meat and how to make it a healthier option for you and your family.

Ground Beef

Everybody needs some fat in their diet but there are times when ground beef looks like it’s swimming in lard. How do you fix that?  There’s a way to do it, and it may seem a little extreme but this will also help you save money at the checkout counter while having leaner ground beef. This means you can buy the fattier option that is usually less expensive per pound than the leaner option. Here’s what you do: After browning your ground beef, turn off the burner, take your fry pan over to the sink and dump your ground beef into a colander.  Heat tap water up to hot and run that over your ground beef. What this does is rinse the fat from the meat so you’re left with a much leaner product that’s already cooked.

Ground Chicken and Turkey

At the beginning of this post, we mentioned health concerns about ground chicken and turkey.  They are absolutely leaner than ground beef and often a healthier option if you want to make chili or Sloppy Joes. The concern is that chicken and turkey are loaded with cholesterol.  If you have a health issue that requires you to eat lower fat and lower cholesterol foods, ground chicken and turkey may not be the best option for you.

How to Make Ground Meat Flavorful Without the Fat

This is definitely the most common question we hear from people who are lowering fat in their diet.  You don’t have to cut out ground meat, you just have to make it flavorful. How do you do that? By adding lots of aromatics including sautéed onions, garlic and celery as well as fresh herbs and dried spices.  This is where all kinds of international dishes shine.

One of our favorite ground meat dishes is chili.  It combines the best of the southwest with tomatoes, cumin and lots of other spices. And you can use beef, chicken or turkey. If you use our rinsing trick with your ground beef, you will find that the meat is, for the most part, pretty flavorless. That’s why it’s critical to add back flavor.

Long story short

If you’re looking for a healthy option, ground meat can still stay in your diet with some good meal planning and choices.


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How do you incorporate ground meat into your diet?