Bring On the Bison Meat!
Love red meat but trying to curtail your saturated fat intake? Try bison, also known as buffalo meat. Think of it as the “good” red meat. It has just 1 gram of saturated fat for each 3½-ounce serving.
Fans of bison meat say it has a sweet, rich flavor. We have plenty of fans right here at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, where guests enjoy grass-fed, free-range bison entrees every Thursday night.
Of course, don’t go overboard. One bison dish a week is the max, especially if you’re trying to improve your cholesterol profile.
Pritikin recommendations for all animal protein foods are the following:
- No more than one serving of animal protein per day. Fish and mollusks (examples of mollusks are oysters and scallops) are preferable over crustaceans (such as shrimp, crab, and lobster) and lean white meat poultry. Crustaceans and lean poultry are preferable over lean red meat. A serving is about 3½ ounces cooked or the size of a deck of cards.
- Optimally, limit crustaceans and poultry to no more than one serving per week and red meat to no more than one serving per month. (Red meat includes beef, pork, veal, lamb, and duck.) If you prefer red meat weekly, substitute free-range, grass-fed bison in place of poultry.
You can buy grass-fed, free-range bison at many grocery stores across the United States, especially upscale, health-food-style chains like Whole Foods and Wild Oats, and online at sites like High Plains Bison.
Another possibility is your local farmers market. My son recently picked up free-range bison at the Santa Monica, California, farmers market, and for a great price – $5 for about eight ounces. I don’t know if it would be readily available on the East Coast and elsewhere, but then again, I haven’t seen too many bison roaming the streets of L.A. either.
Cooking Tip: Do keep in mind that bison meat, because it’s much lower in fat than cow meat, should generally NOT be cooked like cow meat. To avoid drying out your bison, cook it slowly and on low heat.
But for grass-fed tenderloin cuts, “the cooking time should be short and fast,” recommends Pritikin’s Executive Chef Anthony Stewart. “Because the meat is grass fed and does not have any marble (fat pockets), searing is a good way of cooking it. By searing at very high temps on each side for 90 seconds, you create a nice crust and seal the juices in. Let it sit for another two to three minutes, and it will cook more, reaching a medium rare doneness. For grass-fed meat products, we don’t recommend cooking them beyond medium doneness because they will become rubbery due to the lack of fat.”
Or, don’t cook at all! You can order the same delicious bison meat entrées served to the guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center on line in the Pritikin Store. The Roasted Bison is cooked with citrus juices, Vidalia onions, and fresh rosemary and thyme, accompanied with farro, a light nutty grain from Tuscany, and season-fresh vegetables.