Is Steak Bad For You?

Praised by some diets and shunned by others, steak has long been a controversial food. Steak, and other forms of red meat, are known to be high in protein and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals (via Verywell Fit). However, many studies have linked diets high in red meat to concerns about heart health. So is steak bad for you or good for you? The answer is a little complicated. According to Cleveland Clinic, it really depends on where you get your steak and how often you eat it.

"There's evidence that shows red meat and processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, are not good for your health," said registered dietitian Julia Zumpano. "Anytime you choose to have red meat, it should be the leanest cut you can find and you should limit the amount." Of all the kinds of red meat you can buy, steak is considered to be among the most healthy. Specifically, lean cuts of steak like flank, round, sirloin, tenderloin, and ball tip will have less fat and fewer calories than other cuts.

The main issue that many people have with steak is its saturated fat content (via Medical News Today). However, it is safe to consume small amounts of saturated fat. If you limit your steak consumption to less than six ounces of unprocessed red meat per week, you shouldn't increase your risk of heart disease.

Health benefits of steak

Unprocessed steak has many health benefits and may be beneficial to many people. According to Healthline, red meat is very nutritious. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B3, B12, B6, zinc, and selenium. It is also an excellent source of iron. That iron content can be particularly beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders. "Iron is important for oxygen transport and storage within our bodies, forming red blood cells and blood vessels, producing energy for short-duration high-intensity activities, metabolizing drugs, and making proteins," Sean Allt, nutrition coach with Innovative Fitness, told Eat This, Not That!.

Steak also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for the health of your heart, lungs, immune system, blood vessels, and endocrine system. Grass-fed beef has more omega-3 fatty acids than other types, so stick to that kind of steak when possible. When enjoyed in moderation, steak can be a great addition to your diet.