Slim picking is good for the brain and the body

Have you said or been told, "It is time that I start eating better."

Fish is not only good for your body and heart; research shows that fish is also good for your brain! Fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and other cold water varieties are low in calories and rich in fatty acids that have been found to promote weight loss and heart health.

Research shows that fish fatty acids may also have a protective effect on the brain. Studies show that those who ate fish every week were better educated and had a lower incidence of dementia (impairment of intelligence, memory and personality). Think about eating fish more often. It's good for your body, heart and mind!

You may say, "That is all well and good, but I want some red meat once in a while."

Selecting lean meats is very important when it comes to a good, healthy diet. The amount of fat can be anywhere from 0 grams per ounce to 8 grams of fat per ounce. You can consume anywhere from 105 calories to 300 calories per 3-ounce serving of meat. So by choosing the leaner meats, you're cutting up to about 200 calories per 3-ounce serving!

The label "percent lean" may be misunderstood. This figure (that is 70 percent lean) refers to the weight of the meat, not the calories.

For example, a label "70 percent lean" means that the meat's weight is 70 percent from lean meat and 30 percent from fat.

However, lean meat has a high water content. Therefore, the percent of calories may actually come mostly from the fat!

You have to look at the cut. Ground sirloin is the leanest cut of red meat, followed by ground round, then ground chuck, and then ground beef. Have a butcher grind meat for you from a sirloin or round cut of meat if you cannot find ground sirloin or ground round.

When it comes to steaks, "select" grades have the least amount of fat. "Choice" cuts have the next least amount of fat, followed by "prime" cuts. The term "good" is used instead of "select" for veal and lamb. Also, look for meats with a 1/8-inch fat trim or less.

You may be thinking. "That is all well and good, but how am I supposed to remember all of that?" A good rule of thumb is to look for "round" or "loin" in a beef cut name. Look for "loin" and "leg" in a pork or lamb cut. Choose your cuts carefully to cut out the fat.

You may feel that it is less expensive to buy a higher fat cut of meat. Please remember the higher the fat content, the more shrinkage you will have after cooking. I can't give you percentages because the way a person prefers their meat cooked will vary.

Choosing lean proteins is good for your heart, mind, body, and maybe even your pocketbook.

Thank you for reading Diet Center's Tip of the Week. If you are struggling with weight loss, please call me today at (928) 753-5066. Or feel free to stop by Diet Center at 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.