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Is Rare Ribeye Steak Healthy?

By Jae Allen

Ribeye steak is a cut of beef taken from the rib section of a cow. In Australasia, the ribeye cut is also known as the Scotch fillet and in the United States it may be referred to as either ribeye or rib eye. A cow's rib section, for purposes of steak cuts, runs from the sixth through 12th rib. Eating rare ribeye steak has nutritional advantages and disadvantages. Consult your doctor before making significant dietary changes.

Nutritional Information

The USDA standard nutrient database gives nutritional information for ribeye steak in both raw and broiled forms. This data assumes the steak has been trimmed to zero inches of fat. A trimmed raw ribeye steak from the so-called small end -- between ribs 10 and 12 -- contains 274 calories, 17.5 g of protein and 22 g of fat in every 100-g serving. Broiled, the same piece of ribeye contains 205 calories, 28.9 g of protein and 9 g of fat.

Cooking Process

When you broil ribeye steak, water and fat drip away from the meat. For this reason, the protein content by weight of cooked steak is greater than that of raw steak. Water weight has been lost from the meat, so the protein content is more concentrated. Likewise, more than half of the fat in raw ribeye steak is typically lost through broiling. If you fry your steak, it will retain more fat than if you broil it. Cooking a steak rare rather than well-done will give less time for water and fat content to be lost from the meat.

Food Contamination

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consuming raw or undercooked meat can put you at risk for illness. Particularly, the CDC warns that the E. coli bacteria can be present in raw meat. However, tests carried out in 2004 by the UK Meat and Livestock Commission found that when it comes to steak, the risk of food poisoning is determined by the cleanliness of utensils used to handle the meat, not the degree of cooking. Rare steaks were found to be as safe -- in terms of food poisoning potential -- as well-done steaks.

Considerations

Ribeye steak, like all beef products, is a rich source of protein. Protein helps your body to grow and repair healthy tissue. There is typically zero carbohydrate content in a rare ribeye steak, so it is a good protein source if you are following a low-carbohydrate dietary regimen. However, there is also no dietary fiber in steak, so you would need to balance your diet to include sufficient fiber. In raw ribeye steak, almost half the fat present is saturated fat. Saturated fat is considered less healthy than unsaturated fat, according to MayoClinic.com. Trimming fat from your steak is important to make this food as healthy as it can be.

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