Did you know that corned beef and cabbage is a customary American meal on St. Patrick’s Day, rather than an Irish one, as the Irish began to assimilate with other ethnic groups in the United States in the 1900s. In Ireland, people actually celebrate St. Patrick’s Day featuring a plate of vegetables, lamb, and chicken
The bad news for those who adhere to Irish-American tradition is that the meal is not particularly healthy. Approximately 285 calories and 1,286 milligrams of sodium are found in a four-ounce serving of corned beef. That is more than half of the daily recommended sodium intake. A calorie bomb results from serving the meat with cabbage, mashed potatoes, and an Irish beer.
However, if you absolutely must eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty’s, there are ways to make the meal healthier. Request an extra-lean cut of corned beef from the butcher. Remove all visible fat by trimming it, then steam-cook it to dissolve any remaining fat.
Why not try pork tenderloin or sample slow-cooked flank steak instead of corned beef if you’re willing to give it up but still want a meat entree? These dishes are just as delicious but have significantly less sodium and calories.
Try green vegetables for healthier side dishes to celebrate the holiday. White wine and thinly sliced apples can be used to prepare cabbage, and lemon and parsley can be used to season potatoes in place of butter and salt.
A healthier meal this St. In the long run, St. Patrick’s Day will be advantageous because a low-sodium diet lowers blood pressure and may lower the risk of stroke. But if you want to indulge, don’t feel too bad. It’s OK to occasionally nosh on foods you love. Moderation is the key.
Corned Beef Calories and Nutrition
Cooked corned beef consists of beef, water, salt, sugar and sodium nitrate. A 3-ounce serving contains:
- Calories: 213
- Total fat: 12.7 g
- Saturated fat: 5.3 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 73 mg
- Sodium: 764 mg
- Total carbs: 0 g
- Dietary fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Protein: 23 g
- Selenium: 66% Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B12: 58% DV
- Zinc: 28% DV
- Choline: 14% DV
Do not forget that this information pertains to a 3-ounce serving. You might consume significantly more calories, fat, and sodium when you eat larger portions.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Calories and Nutrition
Many people eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, but this celebratory meal is not part of Ireland’s traditional holiday menu. According to the University of Florida Health Communications, the early 1900s saw the origin of the Irish-American custom of eating corned beef and cabbage.
Per the USDA, a serving of about 1 1/2 cups of corned beef and cabbage has:
- Calories: 222
- Total fat: 9 g
- Saturated fat: 4 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 25 mg
- Sodium: 730 mg
- Total carbs: 22 g
- Dietary fiber: 2 g
- Sugar: 5 g
- Protein: 12 g
Although cabbage is a low-calorie side dish, some preparation techniques and recipes are better for you than others.
Boiling vegetables causes the water-soluble vitamins to leach out into the water, but microwaving or steaming veggies helps to preserve these nutrients, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
You can replace the butter in corned beef and cabbage with a heart-healthy fat, like olive oil, since butter contains saturated fat.
Don’t over-salt cabbage when serving it with corned beef. Use your preferred low-sodium seasonings, such as black pepper, garlic, and bay leaves, to flavor your cabbage instead.
The Health Benefits of Corned Beef
Three ounces of corned beef offers 66 percent of your daily value of selenium, a mineral thats important for thyroid health, reproduction, DNA production and immune function by protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
It’s High in Vitamin B12
A 3-ounce serving of corned beef has 58 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12, which keeps your blood and nerve cells healthy, helps make DNA and helps prevent megaloblastic anemia (a blood condition that causes fatigue and weakness), per the NIH.
It’s Rich in Zinc
According to the NIH, a 3-ounce serving of corned beef contains 28% of your daily recommended intake of zinc, a mineral that boosts immunity and aids in the production of proteins and cells. Additionally, it’s necessary to ensure that your senses of taste and smell are functioning properly.
It’s High in Choline
Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that supports memory, mood, muscle control and other brain and nervous system functions, per the NIH. A 3-ounce portion of corned beef supplies 14 percent of your DV for it.
Sodium in Corned Beef
The sodium content of corned beef is one of the main issues, which is crucial if you have high blood pressure.
Taking in more than 5,000 milligrams per day is linked to an increased risk of heart attack in people who already have high blood pressure, according to a March 2015 report in Circulation Research.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day — or even better, no more than 1,500 milligrams per day, especially for those with high blood pressure.
Even though an occasional corned beef meal is unlikely to be harmful, you should be aware of your sodium intake. This is especially true if you follow a diet high in whole foods. You might be consuming more sodium than you realize if you consume a lot of processed foods and cured meats.
Sodium Nitrate in Corned Beef
Nowadays, sodium nitrate, a chemical preservative that also gives corned beef its pinkish hue, is used in its production. However, some research suggests that sodium nitrate, a preservative, may have some adverse health effects, even though the verdict is still out on the preservative’s potential health effects.
According to a study published in the European Food Safety Authority in June 2017, eating too much sodium nitrate interferes with the thyroid’s ability to absorb the essential mineral iodine, which raises the risk of developing hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. .
Additionally, sodium nitrate can alter how your body uses sugar, which has been linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Storage and Cooking Tips
According to the USDA, if you purchase corned beef, be sure to adhere to the following food safety storage advice:
- Keep corned beef that hasn’t been cooked in its juices in the fridge for 5 to 7 days (at 40 degrees or below).
- Corned beef can stay in the freezer for a month if you drain the brine and wrap it tightly.
- Cooked corned beef can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
If youre cooking corned beef, follow these tips:
- Because corned beef isn’t a particularly tender cut, it needs to be cooked for a long time in moisture, like in a slow cooker or in the oven using an oven bag.
- The USDA recommends cooking all raw corned beef to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- After removing your corned beef brisket from the heat, let it stand for roughly 20 minutes to make it easier to slice. Make sure to cut corned beef diagonally, against its grain.
- Refrigerate leftover corned beef within 2 hours of cooking it.
Here are a few ways to eat corned beef:
- Add it to sandwiches along with sauerkraut and mustard
- Add it to an omelet with vegetables after chopping it up.
- Slice it and place over a fresh salad
- Add it to a whole-grain wrap with spinach and tomato
Is Corned Beef Healthy?
Enjoying corned beef as a holiday meal or occasional treat is acceptable, but before making this dish a regular part of your menu, you should be aware that it is high in sodium and saturated fat, two nutrients that are bad for the heart.
Obviously, if you add ingredients to your corned beef recipe, the nutrition information will change depending on what you use. In contrast to corned beef and cabbage, which is a low-carb dish, corned beef hash, which also contains potatoes, will have a significant amount of carbohydrates.
The bottom line: Consuming corned beef frequently or preparing it with less nutrient-dense ingredients can be unhealthy.
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How bad is corned beef for you?
Why is corned beef unhealthy?
Brisket is processed into corned beef by flavoring and tenderizing it in a salt and spice solution. Corned beef is comparatively high in fat and sodium, despite the fact that it contains protein and nutrients like iron and vitamin B12. Additionally, it contains some compounds that may raise your risk of developing cancer.
What is the most unhealthy meat to eat?
In general, skinless chicken, fish, and plant proteins have less saturated fat than red meats like beef, pork, and lamb. Your risk of heart disease can rise due to saturated fat consumption and blood cholesterol levels. Choose lean meat, skinless poultry, and unprocessed varieties if you eat poultry, pork, beef, or other meats.
Is corned beef considered processed meat?
Any meat that has been preserved through smoking, curing, salting, or the use of preservatives is considered processed meat. This includes canned meats like corned beef, ham, bacon, salami, and sausages. Other meats, such as sliced luncheon meat made from white meat like chicken and turkey, may also be included.
What harmful chemical is in corned beef?
1 Sodium nitrate. Bacon, ham, corned beef, hot dogs, sausages, luncheon meats, smoked meats, and smoked fish all contain sodium nitrate as a flavoring and preservative. High temperatures cause sodium nitrate to produce nitrosamines, a substance that causes cancer (White, 1975).