Is Carne Asada Healthy?Mexican food is so popular that many households have taken to including several of its famous dishes in their weekly menus, including tacos, burritos, and other delicious entrees. Whether families treat themselves to takeout from a local Mexican eatery or cook up their favourite meals themselves, this cuisine from south of the border has fans right around the globe.One of the most popular of all those dishes is carne asada.Carne asada is grilled beef, seasoned and often served atop burritos and tacos or sometimes served as a stand-alone entree. It has been touted by some as an excellent addition to meal planning when you’re trying to lose weight.We decided to do a little digging on that topic: can carne asada really help you shed pounds? Is it good for you not just in a dietary sense but also good for your cholesterol levels and overall heart health?We did the research and read the experts. You can include carne asada in your diet to get and stay healthy. Just how much should you consume on a weekly basis to lose weight and then maintain that loss?
The Benefits Of Eating Carne Asada
1- Grilled Meat Is Better Than Fried
Because, by definition, carne asada is marinated and grilled, it can be more heart-friendly than certain other meats, like fried chicken.It is most often made from chuck, flank or skirt steak, then grilled at a high temperature until it’s crispy around the edges. That means no oil or butter on the grill, and that’s definitely better for your cholesterol levels and heart.Oil is a key ingredient of carne asada marinades, but it doesn’t sit in hot butter or oil in a pan the way fried foods do. That means fewer saturated fats and calories.
2- The Best Cuts For Carne Asada Are Quite Lean & Not Too Costly
Most recipes for making carne asada call for skirt or flank steak. Both these cuts can be trimmed and, therefore, quite lean, and that’s always a better choice of meat when you’re trying to lose weight.Carne asada has fewer than 200 calories in a three-ounce serving compared to other beef cuts that are higher in calories and saturated fats.A T‑bone steak with lots of marbling, meaning it has lots of fat, is flavourful and juicy. So is a prime rib roast – it’s the fat running through and around the outside that makes the meat so tender. However, lean cuts like skirt and flank steaks can be just as tender and flavourful as other, more pricey cuts – it’s all in the preparation and cooking!That’s one of the chief reasons that carne asada is so popular; it’s not too expensive to make. Slicing it thinly after grilling it quickly is what makes the recipe work, along with the delicious spices used to season it.
3- If You’re Cutting Out Carbs, Carne Asada Is a Good Fit For You
Many diet plans today focus on cutting back on or cutting out entirely carbohydrates like those found in bread, pasta and rice. Although some diet plans, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Canada Food Guide, include whole grains with complex carbohydrates in their recommendations, commercial diet plans often do not. (We’re thinking here of the Keto diet and the Atkins diet, for example).
4- Carne Asada Offers Lots Of Protein
You should consume plenty of protein each day to meet your body’s nutritional needs. Protein is fuel! And in three ounces of carne asada, you’ll get 15 to 20 grams of protein – that’s plenty to keep you going for an extended period. And the usual serving has approximately 75 to 100 calories, depending on how large it is. However, it’s important to remember that carne asada is not the only food you consume for your evening meal.It’s often chopped up and served atop a taco or in a burrito. Those have plenty of calories (and carbs), so be sure to look up their nutritional content and include the calories in your daily intake total.
5- It’s An Economical Way To Eat Beef
Everyone is feeling the pinch of inflation right now, particularly as prices soar at the grocery store. Using less expensive cuts of meat, like those used for carne asada – chuck steak, skirt and flank – is a great way to stretch your budget.These cuts aren’t always as tender as more pricey ones, but that’s the great thing about carne asada – because it has to be marinated before cooking, the meat tenderizes during that process. Flavour plus savings: a win-win!
What Are The Downsides To Consuming Carne Asada?
Naturally, for every benefit any entree offers, there are often downsides – a few drawbacks that mean you should be careful about how much of it you consume. Here we take a look at those downsides when it comes to meat consumption in general and carne asada specifically.
1- We Should All Be Eating Less Red Meat For The Planet’s Sake
We all know that environmental concerns are at the top of smart politicians’ agendas today because the Earth is in real jeopardy. To do our part, we should be consuming less meat, not more, because livestock puts a real strain on the land and air. Meat substitutes (like veggie burgers) are a wise alternative to red meat. Still, if you enjoy eating meat at least once or twice a week, carne asada is a delicious way to get lots of flavours and a whopping amount of protein. Cutting back on your meat intake is a great start to addressing environmental issues, but don’t feel you have to stop eating it entirely.
2- Marinades For Carne Asada Have Oil & Sodium
Every recipe we found contained either vegetable oil or olive oil and other ingredients that elevate the levels of sodium in carne asada. Still, it’s virtually impossible to make this dish without consuming some salt and oil, so use the recipe below and keep both to a minimum.On balance, carne asada is a solid choice for your diet, whether you’re trying to drop pounds or just maintain your current weight. Protein is vital for good health, and a small portion of carne asada offers plenty of it. Furthermore, it contains iron and other minerals, as well as vitamins (including B‑12) that are excellent nutrients and important for your body to function at peak performance. All of these help you build muscle when working out.And speaking of exercise, it’s just as important a component of any weight loss program as making smart food choices. Getting out and getting activity – whether walking in the fresh air or heading to the gym – is crucial for accelerating weight loss, improving your mood and sleep, and other healthy things.Here’s a recipe for carne asada we found online, and it’s not only simple to make, but it’s also nutritionally sound, as well. If you’ve never made this Mexican favourite before, give it a try! The grilled meat is delicious – tender (thanks to marinating) and juicy. And the jalapeno gives it a gentle kick.Have it as an entree, or chop it up and put the pieces over a tossed green salad or in a taco or burrito. Another great thing about carne asada is how versatile it is.
The juice of two limes.
4 cloves of crushed garlic.
1/2 cup of orange juice.
1 cup of chopped cilantro.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
1/4 cup of vegetable or olive oil.
1 minced jalapeno pepper.
2‑pound flank steak.
Blend ingredients together until smoothly mixed.
Once ingredients are combined, place the marinade in a resealable, two or three-litre bag.
Place the whole steak into the bag. Make sure the marinade has covered the steak.
Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. (Four hours is best.)
Heat the grill or BBQ on high.
Remove the steak from the bag and discard the remaining marinade.
Once the grill is hot, place the steak on and cook for 7 – 10 minutes per side.
Carne asada can be a helpful addition to your weekly meal plan. There is a caveat, however: moderation! Like everything in life, too much of a good thing is not good at all!It’s important to track how many times each week you choose red meat as the mainstay of your evening meal. If you feel it’s too often, consider adding fish, chicken or veggie burgers to the menu as well.Weight loss goals are most successful when you reduce calories and stay active. Work out at least three times a week. Even brisk walks around several blocks at lunchtime will help you reach your weight loss goals.Carne asada is one meal you can include in a healthy diet. If you’ve never tried this Mexican favourite, give our recipe a try. We’d love to hear from you about your first meal with carne asada in the starring role!