Healthy alternatives to red meat

| 2 min read

We all know the famous question that’s asked before consuming red meat: Medium rare, medium, or well done?
But instead, maybe the question should be: “To have, or to not have?”
Although delicious, enjoying a filet, burger or roast beef too often can impact your health. New studies indicate eating a red meat-heavy diet may shorten your life, and it’s been linked to increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Relax – when it comes to enjoying red meat, it’s not all or nothing. According to Harvard School of Public Health, cutting back just a few servings per week can make a big difference, especially if you substitute it with unprocessed options. Some of our favorite healthy proteins include:
  • Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beans
Still craving a burger? A turkey burger can be just as satisfying, especially with this recipe:
Spicy chipotle turkey burger
  • 1 pound ground turkey (Note: look for at least 90% lean meat)
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobe sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
  1. Prepare outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
  1. Place ground turkey, onion, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl and mix well. Form four patties.
  1. Grill the patties until the turkey is no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side.
  1. Place the mozzarella slices on the patties 2 minutes before they are finished. Serve on toasted buns.
Nutritional Information (Makes 4 burgers)
Per serving: 376 calories; 15.3g fat; 725mg sodium; 25.8g carbs; 1.8g fiber; 33.3g protein
Recipe is adapted from
Photo credit: esimpraim

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.