Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blood Work and Lean Beef

When you reach a certain level of semi-famousness in a niche sport (which I have) you deal with your crackpots and ne'er do wells.  It comes with the territory. When you are aligned as the first official "spokesrunner" for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and are an avid lean beef eater, the chances of those disagreeing with your food choice and therefore attacking your decisions increases hundred-fold. To which I say, with all sincerity, bring it.

Differences in choice of fueling are as varied as the people out there fueling themselves. But what is neat is while everyone is "entitled" to their own opinion (which, no they aren't, but that's another story entirely) they are not entitled to their own facts. Studies vary and sensationalism rules, especially in this hyper-short-attention span world.  But let's start with some basic facts for you about lean beef, my preferred fuel for not only finishing but recovering.

1. According to government guidelines, a serving qualifies as "lean" if it has less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving.
2. There are 29 cuts of beef LEANER than skinless chicken thigh.
3. You get 51% of the protein you need in a day from just 3 ounces of lean beef in only 154 calories. To get the same amount of protein in Tofu you would have to consume 1 1/4 cups for 236 calories; 3 1/2 cups of black beans for 374 calories and 7 tablespoons of peanut butter for 670 calories!

I was recently in a bike crash. As part of all the tests I had done, my blood was drawn.  I received my blood work back today. Here are the results and I quote from my doctor:

With regards to hemoglobin and hematocrit: "Yours are perfect with a hemoglobin of 14.1 (13.0-17.0) and Hematocrit of 42.6 (37.0-49.0)."

With regards to my cholesterol: "Again, your numbers are perfect. HDL 57 (> 39) and LDL 81 (<100) for a total cholesterol of 157 (<200). Triglycerides 93 (<150)." 
(to note, Total cholesterol - HDL - triglycerides/5 = LDL or bad cholesterol)

How about my liver? "Yours are perfect with AST 26 (5-35) and ALT 26 (7-56)."

Blood sugar? "Your blood sugar (indication of diabetes) was actually a little low at 58 and the norm is (65-100)."

Again, these are facts. I always have been and always will be willing to discuss in adult, intelligent, and rational manners, difference in opinion with regard to the healthful benefits of varying food sources. But when I eat a diet rich in lean beef, accomplish the things I have and possess the test results above, please know that these facts cannot be argued with. Plain and simply, eating lean beef has fueled me to conquer some tough challenges and has helped me recover once those challenges were accomplished.

Now I face the challenge of healing multiple broken bones in my shoulder. I have a 70.3 triathlon coming up at the Vikingman at the end of August. I am going to need all the help I can get to heal my body, begin training and prepare for tough competition all in a very short time frame. I will be making sure I am doing so the best way I know how for my body and that is by eating lean beef.

The West sure as hell wasn't won on salad, people.


TeeJay said...

I challenge you on your cholesterol math, Dane (doesn't 57+81 =138?), but I otherwise concur with/support everything you said; namely, that numbers (or facts) are inarguable.

One number that you didn't cite in your blog entry was your resting heart rate, which is probably something along the lines of 45. That would mean that your heart is doing 37% less work than someone's with an average RHR of 72.

I love your numbers, and I can only hope that mine are even CLOSE to yours the next time I have a complete blood workup. Way to go, man!

Diana said...

I'm a meat eater too but only organic. I'm curious...what's your take on organic or not?