Health Benefits of Beef

The beef is the most popular meat in Brazil and worldwide. So much so that, for many people, it is synonymous with the expression “red meat”, in what is good and bad.

Although the ox and the bull are considered as male bovines, it is the first that is usually bred for the supply of meat, and for that one of the main measures taken is its castration, which does not occur with the second. Beef is more fatty and more muscular than beef, but it also has more flavor. It provides a wide variety of already-established cuts (although each culture can cut it in a different way), and thus is responsible for many of the dishes from the most diverse cuisines in the world.

Brazil, in addition to being one of the main consumers of this product, is also currently the world leader in beef exports.

However, lately beef has been shrouded in controversy, as the fact that it is too fatty contributions to several diseases, especially cardiovascular ones and various forms of cancer. Here, in this text, therefore, we will see the benefits of beef, its harms, types and cuts of beef, and beef recipes. Keep reading!


Beef, along with the others, falls under the category of constructor, that is, it helps in the composition or regeneration of the tissues that make up the organs. This is because it is the main supplier of proteins, which is the raw material for building or regenerating bones, muscles and cartilage in our body. Despite this, it also plays an energetic role (as their fat is burned for energy) and a regulatory (they are sources of many important vitamins).

Beef is also the main representative of red meat (which also includes goat, sheep, equine meat), due to its intense red color, resulting from a high concentration of iron, and because it is much more fatty than white meat (poultry, fish). and seafood, rabbit).

Now let’s see what proteins and vitamins are provided by beef.


  • Protein of high biological value: it is responsible for a large part of our weight, that is, it is essential for those who are growing, and it has a regenerative function in the body.
  • L-carnitine: this amino acid is responsible for taking fats to be burned in our cells. It also attenuates hypertension, oxidative stress and inflammation in the organs of the cardiovascular system and acts on weight loss.
  • Glutathione and Carnosine: Glutathione is the main natural antioxidant, a protein “built” by our body with amino acids present mainly in beef. Thus, together with carnosine, it helps cell regeneration, delays aging and prevents diseases, contributing to increased longevity. Its lack increases oxidative stress and general inflammation.
  • Creatine: improves mood and endurance for exercise, and increases muscle mass.


  • B12 (cobalamin): this is the most important vitamin of the animal originates for the human body, although it is not produced by it. Some of its functions are to form hemoglobin, which is important for the transport of oxygen from the blood to cells, and to protect the myelin sheath, the “sheath” that surrounds each of our neurons. Its absence can cause anemia, fatigue, mental illnesses such as depression and amnesia, or damage to nervous systems that are still developing.
  • Iron: with B12, it is important for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin, and it lacks some of the same symptoms: anemia and fatigue.
  • B6: responsible for cell renewal.
  • E: participates in skin regeneration.
  • Zinc: protects against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression. It also acts on the growth of the body, and that is why it is important for the body for a good part of life, an importance that begins with pregnancy.
  • Potassium: makes bones stronger and improves the nervous system, among other functions.
  • Selenium: antioxidant functions.
  • Magnesium: acts on the functioning of more than 300 types of enzymes.


Despite all this, beef can also be harmful. This happens if it is consumed in excess too often, with too much fat or even burned.

Health agencies recommend 300 to 500g a week, which in practice is equivalent to a small steak (70g if red meat; up to 100g if white meat) three to five times a week. In other words, ideally, it should be no more than a quarter of the plate, which should also be divided with carbohydrates, fats, vegetables and vegetables. Don’t make it the main component of two or more meals a day.

And it doesn’t have to be consumed every day: foods like white meat, beans, spinach and kale are also sources of iron, while milk and eggs are proteinaceous. But beware: these foods have a lower iron and protein content, it may be necessary to eat them in more quantities, to reach the same levels that day reached by beef. The ideal is to always be varying.

With regard to fat: if possible, prefer cuts with less fat and more meat for your day, such as tenderloin, duckling and lizard. The fattest cuts, such as sirloin steak and sirloin steak, can be reserved for special occasions.

When preparing, separate the fat and skin from the meat. It is better to cook, bake or grill than fry. In any of these options, do not use oil, olive oil or butter, just as not to increase fat. And try not to let it burn too long, that is, too long on high heat, because of the black crust that forms, if consumed too often, can cause cancer.

Among the harms of overconsumption of beef are:

  • Increased risk of developing various types of cancer: esophagus, breast, colon, rectum, among others.
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to increased LDL cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol. So if you have a problem with cholesterol, see a doctor to find out how much you can consume.
  • Increased inflammation if there are too many saturated fats. One of the most worrying ones today is diverticulitis, inflammation of the lining of the intestinal lining.
  • Depending on the origin, the meat can be contaminated with excess hormones and antibiotics, which are also carcinogens.


Beef offers, at least in Brazil, 21 cuts (because each country cuts in its own way, only this number, and even the names and parts, may vary). The main criteria for each of these cuts to be classified as first, second or third are the presence or absence of tenderness, fat and even nerves.

Let’s look at each of these divisions below.


They are considered the best quality. They are usually located in regions of the animal that exercise little, so they do not have as many muscles, thus being softer, and showing little or no fat. Thus, they are usually easier to cook, and yield more.

Precisely for this good quality, these meats are better used (including financially) cut into steaks, roasted or barbecued.

These cuts are:

• Filet mignon;

• Rump;

• Rump steak;

• Duckling;

• Lizard;

• Ribeye;

• Soft top;

• Mommy.


These parts are already located in regions more exposed to physical exercise in the animal, and thus are harder and contain more muscle and fat, but they are still very much appreciated. They are ideal for preparing pies, stews, stews and hideaways.

• Persian;

• skirt steak;

• Hard back;

• Fillet cover;

• Rib;

• Arm (pallet);

• Chop;

• Front muscle.


These are the parts of the ox with the most muscle and nerves, requiring great skill from the cook to separate these parts without wasting the meat. Anyway, they can be used to accompany feijoadas and make stews, soups, stews and minced meats.

• Neck;

• Muscle;

• Needle point;

• Offals / viscera: stomach, heart, kidney, liver, tongue;

• Tail.




  • 1kg of beef (it can be skirt steak, rib end, rump or tit);
  • 2 large onions;
  •  1 meat broth tablet;
  • 1 can of single malt beer at room temperature;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste;
  • Green scent to taste.

Way of doing:

  • Start by seasoning the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the onions into thick slices. In a pressure cooker, make a bed with half the onions and, on top, place half of the chopped broth.
  • Place the meat over the onions, then cover with the rest of the onions and the broth.
  • Pour the beer can. Close the pan and place on low heat. Wait approximately 1 hour after you get pressure. Open the pan after thirty minutes to see how the meat is. If the broth has all proceeding, due to the heat of your stove, add a little more water and return to pressure. When ready, the meat should be well browned and with a beer and onion sauce.
  • Transfer the meat to an ovenproof dish and slice it carefully so it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Cover the sliced ​​meat with the sauce left in the pan and finish with a green scent. Serves with white rice, salad or French fries.



  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil;
  • Half a kilogram of duckling (or acem, or soft top);
  • 1 chopped onion;
  • 200ml of water;
  • 400g of cassava pieces;
  • Half a packet of parsley;
  • Half-pack of green scent;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.

Way of doing:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the meat and let it cook.
  • Add the onion and cook for another 3 minutes. Add water and cassava, season with black pepper and salt and cook until cassava is almost melting (approximately 30 minutes), stirring every 5 minutes. If necessary, add more water to cover the meat and cassava.
  • After turning off the heat, sprinkle with parsley and green scent, and serve with white rice and cabbage farofa.
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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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