How to choose that lean protein and how to keep it safe.

The USDA is recommending a diet consisting of lean protein as opposed to other kinds of protein. Here are some recommendations on how to choose that lean protein and how to keep it safe.

What to look for on the Food Label:

  • Check the Nutrition Facts label for the saturated fat,trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium content of packaged foods.
    • Processed meats such as hams, sausages, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake.
    • Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __.”
    • Lower fat versions of many processed meats are available. Look on the Nutrition Facts label to choose products with less fat and saturated fat.

Keep it safe to eat:

  • Separate raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Do not wash or rinse meat or poultry.
  • Wash cutting boards, knives, utensils and counter tops in hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next one.
  • Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. Use a meat thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
  • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.
  • Plan ahead to defrost foods. Never defrost food on the kitchen counter at room temperature. Thaw food by placing it in the refrigerator, submerging air-tight packaged food in cold tap water (change water every 30 minutes), or defrosting on a plate in the microwave.
  • Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs and raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
  • Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should avoid some types of fish and eat types lower in mercury. Seewww.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html or call 1-888-SAFEFOOD for more information.

poshonabudget.com is a partner to the USDA/CNPP Nutrition Communicators Network

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