Incorporating protein-rich foods at all three meals of the day is the focus of the all-new 30 Day Protein Challenge – launching in Ohio May 1 as part of Ohio Beef Month. The challenge, issued by the nearly 17,000 Ohio beef farming families, encourages participants to enjoy lean, high-protein foods like beef, just in time for summer grilling season.
“Consuming protein in balanced amounts at each meal can provide a number of health and wellness benefits, and just one serving of beef each day provides 50 percent of the recommended daily value of protein,” said Elizabeth Harsh, executive director, Ohio Beef Council (OBC). “A diet that is rich in protein-dense foods like beef and other lean meats, along with eggs, dairy, fish, grains and beans, can help everyone achieve and maintain a healthy weight, while preserving and building muscle.”
The Challenge is a step-by-step system for 30 days of including protein at all three meals. By visiting http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/proteinchallenge.aspx, participants can access valuable tools including:
- Email signups to receive daily motivational messages with goals and tips;
- Protein-rich recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and
- Inspiration from other challenge participants through the #proteinchallenge social media conversation.
“The best news about the Challenge is that it kicks off in Ohio at the start of summer grilling season in May,” Harsh said. A recent survey reports nearly three out of four grillers in the U.S. say the one meat they most often grill is beef.
Tips for adding protein
OBC offers a number of tips for those looking to add protein from beef into their diet for the Challenge and beyond:
- Choose – some of the best cuts for grilling are top loin (strip), flank steak and ribeye
- Marinate – tender beef cuts should be marinated 15 minutes to 2 hours; less tender cuts should be marinated for at least 6 hours, but not more than 24 hours
- Bargain-shop – save money on beef by buying family packs and freezing extra portions, and watch grocery circulars or social media sites for specials on beef and then stock up
- Ask an expert – talk to the meat counter or butcher for recommendations on cuts or to buy perfectly portion-sized steaks and roasts
Ohio beef stats
Ohioans spend more than $4.1 billion annually on beef. Ohio-raised cattle and locally produced beef are part of the fabric of the Buckeye state. There are about 16,900 farm families in Ohio raising 1.25 million cattle and calves. More than 434 million pounds of beef are produced in the state each year, with a total gross beef farm income of $516 million (2013).
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