Protein and nutrient rich lean beef is one of the foods the bariatric community is divided over. One camp says to eat beef in small portions, another group says beef is on the "Don't" list and yet another common belief is to experiment and eat what can be tolerated. The concern with beef is that after a malabsorptive and restrictive procedure there is no longer enough stomach acid to properly digest the meat. In addition, overly fat cuts of beef or ground beef may not sit well with some patients, causing nausea or digestive distress.
Patients who include beef as part of their healthy diet report that moist cooking methods (stewing or braising) result in a tender meat that is well tolerated and satisfying. Consider any of our stew recipes or the slow braised Osso Buco alla Milanese as shown here.
One 3-ounce serving of lean beef, such as beef round, has 184 calories, 30g protein, 6g fat. It is rich in Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Niacin, Riboflavin and Vitamin B6. Additionally, beef supplies two kinds of iron (heme and non-heme iron). Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient-deficiency problem in the United States. This nutritional shortfall can result in fatigue, irritability and lowered immunity. It is believed that eating iron rich foods such as beef will improve iron absorption in women who have undergone gastric surgery.
Louisiana Beef Stew
This stew is enriched with tomatoes which are a rich source of lycopene, a disease fighting carotenoid.
1 pound well-trimmed bottom round of beef, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added tomatoes, diced, with juice
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and salt
Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Cook the beef for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer the beef to a plate.
Reduce the heat to moderate, add the onion and garlic to the pan, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the molasses, vinegar, ginger and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Return the beef to the pan, cover and simmer for 5 minutes oruntil the beef is cooked through. Serve warm.