Cozy up with a homemade recipe of comforting and nourishing stew this winter. It goes along well with our recent study on meat. This study on meat is coming from both a spiritual and scientific perspective. We thought we would share it with others too who may be on the fence about red meat and may be puzzled by the trans fat dilemma. Scroll on past the recipe for our research on this topic.
Hearty Beef and Mushroom Stew
3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper
4 carrots, cut diagonally
4 celery stalks, sliced
2 onions, cut into wedges
1 cup of red wine, such as a Shiraz
2 quarts of beef broth
2 thyme sprigs
1 lb of mushrooms, quartered
4 tablespoons butter
Heat 2 TB oil in Dutch oven, heat over medium high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and add to oil in pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes until brown being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer to a bowl.
Add 2 TB oil to pan and add all the vegetables except the mushrooms. Stir, scraping bottom of pan for the browned bits on bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add wine to vegetables and return meat to the pot. Add the beef broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add thyme. Let cook for 2 hours or until tender.
Meanwhile heat butter in another pan, add mushrooms and cook until brown and juicy for about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
When meat is tender, add mushrooms to pan and heat through. Remove thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!!
Give our recipe a try and let us know what you think.
Now on to the subject of trans fats. Are trans fats and red meat really that bad for you?
This is a question I have been asking myself all this year as I’ve taken nutrition and our diet more seriously. There are many studies on trans fats that show conflicting evidence.
But the question I have been asking myself is “why would God give us something to eat if it is bad for us?”
He gave red meat (which contain trans fats) to the priests. He gave it to His people before a long journey. He gave it to the world and all of the world experiences His common grace (i.e. the rain falls on the just and the unjust).
So, this is something Gabe and I researched to get to the bottom of trans fats and to clear up any confusion. I want to share this with you, my friends as well. Maybe it will help you even more in making better food choices to nourish you and your family!
So are trans fats bad for us?
The answer is yes and no.
Yes because there are two types of trans fats. One is your industrial trans fats where there is hydrogen molecules pumped into liquid vegetable oil, changing the chemical structure and causing the oil to become a solid fat. Think fast food, Crisco, icing, cookies, store bought dough, crackers, microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, coffee creamer, Peter Pan peanut butter, the list goes on…
These trans fats are VERY BAD.
Trans fats are generally considered to be especially harmful because they raise total cholesterol while lowering HDL cholesterol (HDL is your good cholesterol) and they build up plaque in your arteries.
But cholesterol and plaque build-up are not the only reasons these trans fats aren’t good for you. There are many more reasons they cause so much harm to the human body. In fact, once trans fats are consumed they don’t leave the body. For a very long time. It is very hard for our body to break it down. Yikes!
So, when it comes to trans fats, it is MAN-MADE trans fats that are so harmful to us.
It is now illegal to manufacture trans fats in food products in the U.S. but still we have products on our shelves containing hydrogenated oils. Many nutrition labels will label trans fats “0” but look out for the words “shortening,” “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated oil,” as these indicate hidden trans fats.
Now there are some trans fats that are actually GOOD for us! In fact these are so good for us they help aid in weight loss. What kind am I talking about? The GOD-MADE trans fats that occur naturally in animal products. These good trans fats can be found in fattier cuts of meat, bone marrow, high-fat dairy products like butter, whole milk and full fat cheeses.
What is the health difference between the man-made trans fats and the God-made trans fats?
Healthy trans fats are in the form of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. CLA has minor differences in structure from industrial trans fats that lead to majorly different effects in the body.
While industrial trans fats are shown to increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and obesity, CLA and other trans fats found naturally in animal products are actually thought to decrease the risk of those diseases. In many clinical studies, it is shown that CLA actually PREVENTS the build up of plaque.
In a few studies, consumption of CLA has been shown to increase lean body mass, reduce body fat mass, improve overall body composition in overweight individuals and help prevent type II diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
So where is the best source of CLA?
CLA is found in the fats of animals, so again, animal products such as fattier cuts of meat, bone marrow, high-fat dairy products like butter, whole milk, and full fat cheeses. However it is important to note that these sources should always be grass-fed sources. Toxins are found in the fat of animals that are grain-fed so it’s always best to buy organic and grass-fed to get the most out of your food and to avoid harmful toxins that can be counter-productive.
Animal products really are the best source for CLA. Avoid most CLA supplements. These are not the same as those found in our animal products. They are usually linoleic acid in safflower oil, and some studies have shown that CLA supplementation in humans can cause fatty liver, inflammation, insulin resistance and other serious health concerns.
Now-what about studies showing that cultures who have a meat based diet-have poorer health?
According to Harvard university’s TH Chan Public School of Health, when it comes to dietary fat, what matters most is the type of fat you eat. Contrary to past dietary advice promoting low-fat diets, newer research shows that healthy fats are necessary and beneficial for health.
When food manufacturers reduce fat, they often replace it with carbs from sugar, refined grains, or other starches. Our bodies digest these refined carbohydrates and starches very quickly, affecting blood sugar and insulin levels, and possibly resulting in weight gain and disease.
I truly believe our health problems are a result of the standard American diet where we eat more processed, white flour-based and sugary foods (including processed meat) instead of the healthy grass-fed natural meat, healthy fats and healthy complex carbs our bodies need and were designed to consume and digest.
Traditional populations like the Masai (an ethnic group who inhabit parts of Kenya and Tanzania) have eaten much more red meat than the average Westerner but have remained in excellent health. They eat raw red meat from cows and about one liter of raw milk is consumed per person daily. Most of the milk is consumed as fermented milk (yay kefir!) or buttermilk. These milk consumption figures are very high by any standards but their needs for protein and essential amino acids are more than adequately satisfied.
Red meat is also rich in important nutrients like creatine and carnosine. Non-meat eaters are often low in these nutrients, which may potentially affect muscle and brain function. Especially because vitamin B12 is unattainable from plant sources. But it’s so important our source of red meat is grass-fed where the vitamins, minerals. heart-healthy omega 3’s and CLA fatty acid are found in greater abundance.
As always balance is everything. So we know it is best to keep our veggie proportions higher than our meat proportions (especially because we need vitamin c to properly synthesize the glycine and proline found in meats). But that doesn’t mean we need to cut out meat completely, as studies have shown that meat is a very important part of our diet and for many more reasons.
So, to wrap this up simply, there needn’t be any more confusion on the matter of trans fats and red meat.
Natural trans fats found in red meat and animal products are GOOD for us.
Industrial trans fats found in many processed foods are BAD for us.
I really hope this info has been helpful for you as it has been very helpful for us to stay healthy and eat the way God designed us to. ❤
I want you to know I realize that I am not a health professional or an expert on nutrition and that if you have read this far than it must mean you trust and care about the advice I give. I don’t take that lightly and I would like to list my sources for you to check out yourself!
Dr. Schwarzbein’s book The Schwarzbein Principle.
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig g. Phd. Nourishing Traditions
PH Chan Public School of Health of Harvard University
Deuteronomy 32. Starting in vs. 13 it says God gave the children of Israel “the fat of ram” (meat and animal fat), “butter of kine” (butter from cattle), “the milk of sheep” (dairy).
Acts 10:13-15 “And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (I realize this isn’t the full meaning of this passage as God was declaring the Gospel be preached to the Gentiles but most Bible scholars agree God was both declaring Gentiles be given salvation and their way of eating was acceptable. Gentiles were never told to abstain from certain meats unless it crossed their conscious).