Waiter, make sure my steak moos only once!

I’ve been told it many times, “One of these days you’re going to push your luck too far.” It’s because I stress to waiters I want my steak ‘blue’.

The worst that can happen is it arrives rare. But what is the risk of a blue steak? And can well done steak be bad for the heart?

No waiter has ever said to me, “You dummy, didn’t you learn in medical school that ordering a steak rare may cause toxoplasmosis? Go back and read about parasitology.”

Toxoplasmosis is not a common household term such as measles. But if the parasite is contacted, it can cause enlarged glands in the neck, fatigue, fever, and an enlarged spleen.

In rare instances it affects eyes, and the nervous system.

The good news is that about 40% of North Americans have had this infection at one time and survived it. But most are unaware of its presence and it usually requires no treatment.

Today, I often hear people say, “I don’t eat meat anymore.” But does that make sense? After all, humans have been eating meat since cavemen discovered it was a good way to survive. Now, eons later, there are many valid reasons for eating meat.

For one thing, I’ve never enjoyed spinach. I’d have to ingest three cups of raw spinach to obtain the same amount of iron contained in a six ounce steak. So this is an easy choice for me.

Meat is also the complete protein. This means it contains the nine essential amino acids that are required for maintaining body tissues and a healthy immune system. These essential amino acids cannot be produced by our bodies.

Today, iron is the nutrient most often lacking in North American diets. The recommended daily allowance for iron is 18 milligrams (mg). However, the typical diet contains only 6 mg. Low stores of iron can result in fatigue.

Making steak a part of the diet overcomes another nutritional pitfall. Meat is one of the prime sources of iron and is also rich in ‘heme’ iron. This is the type more easily absorbed by the body than ‘non-heme’ iron.

Steak also contains Vitamins B-6, B-12, five of the B-complex vitamins along with niacin, zinc and phosphorus. It’s rare that people ever think about zinc in steak. But many do not consume sufficient zinc, required for reproduction, growth, night vision and the manufacture of hormones.

Those who are concerned about calories should know that a six ounce steak trimmed of fat, contains just 6.0 grams of fat and provides only 366 calories. Compare this amount to roasted chicken with skin that has 23 grams of fat. And if you enjoy peanut butter, four tablespoons of it contain 32 grams of fat.

Some people who have developed ‘cholesterolphobia’ say this is why they just eat chicken and fish. But a six ounce steak contains 146 mg of cholesterol, the same amount in roasted skinless chicken.

But can a rare steak help the heart? In 1957 Dr. Frederick Crane was the first researcher to isolate coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) from beef heart. It’s amazing that it escaped everyone’s attention that meat is one of the major sources of Co-Q10. But if you like your steak well done, it not only tastes like leather, but also destroys Co-Q10.

There is more bad news about the destruction of Co-Q10. Today millions of North Americans, one in four over the age of 45, are taking cholesterol-lowering (CLDs) drugs.

This medication acts on an enzyme in the liver to decrease the production of cholesterol, but it also reduces the amount of Co-Q10, the energy of the heart. Since many patients taking CLDs are not taking Co-Q10 supplements, some researchers worry there may be an increase of heart failure in the future. Good sense indicates you cannot rob the heart of its energy year after year without expecting trouble.

“So, waiter, I’ll still have my steak blue. Please tell the chef to spare the heat. And to increase my good cholesterol, don’t forget a glass of cabernet sauvignon.”

See the website www.docgiff.com. For comments info @docgiff.com.

Just Posted

Red Deer CFR details coming next week

Red Deerians invited to presentation of proposal

Scoring books at the Rebels game

Books on the Bus program teams up with Rebels for book drive

Innisfail RCMP respond to home invasion

Male victim sustained non-life threatening head injury

Mountie seriously injured in early morning collision near Devon

An erratic driver is said to have collided with an RCMP cruiser

Vehicle thefts in Red Deer on the rise

Over 1,000 vehicles stolen in the span of a few months

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Most Read