Bison: Give It a Grill
To many people, grilling signifies summer. Favored spoils of the season: steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. You may also want to toss some bison on those grates. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, it may be a healthier alternative to other red meats.
A better red-meat option
Many Americans pile their plates with beef, pork, and lamb. But all that red meat may not be good for us. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed the eating habits of nearly 550,000 older adults for 10 years. Researchers found that people who ate more red meat didn't live as long. They were also more likely to die from cancer and heart disease.
Based on such science, experts, including the American Heart Association, recommend limiting your intake of red meat. It's high in saturated fat and cholesterol-two key ingredients for heart disease.
Not so with bison, though. Compared with other red meats, bison has fewer calories and less cholesterol and fat. In fact, a quarter-pound bison burger-minus the bun and condiments-contains only 2 grams of total fat and less than a gram of saturated fat. A similar-sized beef burger has more than 17 grams of total fat and nearly 7 grams of saturated fat.
A recent study in the journal Nutrition Research may further confirm bison's healthier pedigree. Researchers compared cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as other vascular health measurements, in a small group of people who ate either beef or bison. After only one meal, those who ate bison had less of an increase in triglyceride levels. Over a seven-week period of eating either meat, bison did little harm to vascular health.
Cooking tips for bison
Bison is a type of game meat. Compared with beef, it's redder in color and has less marbling because of its lower fat content. It also has a sweeter and richer flavor. Plus, unlike many cattle that are fattened in feedlots with grain, bison are often grass fed. They also aren't typically given antibiotics or hormones.
When cooking bison, treat it like any similar cut of beef. Below are some tips on coaxing the best flavor out of this lean meat:
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.
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