The New Steak Diet: How to Eat Beef and Still Lose Weight

steakYou can tell your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight has run its course when all you can imagine is sinking your teeth into a big,  fat, juicy hamburger or steak!

And if your attempt to lose weight sensibly has left you wondering, “where’s the beef?” this new diet trend might be for you:  beef!!

In fact, research has shown that a diet which includes a moderate amount of lean beef can actually make you lose more than traditional and popular diets!

A recent study by the University of Illinois snuffs the myth that beef can’t be a diet food.  In fact, researchers have shown that a diet which included a moderate amount of lean beef in it can actually make you lose more than traditional and popular diets.    This study was designed to look at long-term  weight loss.

In the study, people in one group ate twice as much protein as the second group. Both plans were equal in calories, but half the group followed a moderate-protein diet (40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fat) while the other followed a diet based on USDA’s food-guide pyramid (55% carbohydrates, 15% protein, 15% fat).

The results of the study were surprising!  Although the actual amount of weight loss was similar in both groups, at 4 months the higher protein group lost 22 percent more body fat than the lower protein group.  And at 12 months, the higher protein group lost 38 percent more body fat than the lower protein group.

The study concluded that the extra protein helped the dieters preserve muscle, which is one of the most important keys to losing weight:  the more muscle you maintain, the more calories you can burn, as muscles burn calories.

Addressing the concern about the effects on lipids, Donald Layman, a University of Illinois professor emeritus of nutrition states that although at 4 months the food-guide pyramid diet appeared to be more effective in lowering LDL and total cholesterol levels, at 12 months LDL levels came back up until both diets were equally effective.

“This is the first study to show that short-term changes in LDL cholesterol are not maintained with long-term weight loss. Most scientists believe that high cholesterol is more a factor of genetics than of diet,” he said, but the moderate-protein diet had by far the bigger effect on lowering triglycerides, and that lasted as long as individuals remained on the diet.

The higher protein study participants’ weight loss was 23 percent higher than the food pyramid diet.  And because of the extra protein, the higher protein group participants reported less cravings and more satisfaction/not being hungry as much.

And, the beef is right here in Arizona. Some of the country’s best! Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate has 24 beef producers willing to sell you some of the best tasting, lean and healthy beef around. By selecting beef in the product search window you can check out every producers and decide whether you want corn fed, natural or grass fed. You can even discover the breeds and what they’re know for in some of the descriptions. In Arizona, we don’t have to ask “Where’s the beef!” It’s right here!

Here are some delicious recipes to start your new beef-rich diet out right:

Grilled Steak with Summer Veggies

Flank Steak, Top Round or similar cut
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper


Place steak in glass casserole dish. Pour all ingredients into a bowl, mix and pour over steak. Make sure marinate coats both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, marinate for at least 30 minutes. You may also marinate overnight for a richer flavor. Grill for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let sit for at least 5 minutes. (If you cut right away all the juices will run and you will end up with a tough steak.) Slice diagonally against the grain and serve.

Provided by: Bridgette Crosby

This recipe and more can be found on

Asian Lettuce Wraps

16 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 tsp brown sugar


Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not to tear them. Set aside. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and soy sauce to the onions and stir. Add the green onions, brown sugar and continue cooking until the onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce leaf around the meat like a burrito and enjoy!! Provided by: Lori H , Mesa

This recipe and more can be found on

Sonoran Hamburgers

1 lb Hamburger Meat, seasoned and made into patties
Cheese slices, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Pepper Jack
Green Chili strips, from can or roast your own
Ripe tomato slices
Crisp lettuce
Hamburger buns

Season the hamburger patties to your taste and cook on the grill. Assemble the hamburgers as you like them. For mild, vibrant chili flavor, top with Santa Cruz Chili Paste. Or try my favorite – Santa Cruz Chipotle mayonnaise (1 Tbsp Chipotle paste mixed with 1 Tbsp mayo) for a sweet, hot smoky hamburger. Sonoran Hamburgers are a delicious blend of Mexican ‘heat’ added to an American favorite. Serve these at you next BBQ and watch them disappear. Make Sonoran Hamburgers your way, but be sure to include Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Co. ingredients. Provided by:

Recipe provided by: Jeanie Neubauer – Santa Cruz Chili
This recipe and more can be found on

Ginger Beef Noodle Soup (courtesy of Arizona Beef Council)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups water
1 can (12.75 – 14.5 oz) ready-to-serve vegetable broth
1 pkg (3 oz) beef-flavored instant ramen noodles, broken up
3 cups frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable mixture


Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef; cook 8-10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings; season with salt, ginger, and pepper.

Stir in water, broth and seasoning packet from ramen noodles. Bring to a boil. Stir in noodles and vegetables, return to a boil, and continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

To read the previous articles in this series, click here and here.


Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the Agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services.

For more information contact Julie Murphree at (480) 635-3607 or go to

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