I LOATHE steak. Am I doomed on Paleo?

by (20) Updated March 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM Created March 11, 2011 at 12:48 AM

I am new to Paleo and I really love it so far, but I see everywhere people just practically writhing in gastronomic pleasure due to how much steak they get to eat.

I hate steak. The taste, the mouth feel, the smell, the gushing juices... I am all for other people enjoying it, like my husband. But while he's eating that, please give me a plate of bacon, or fish, or crab legs, or chicken. Anything but steak. I should mention that I really love a good hamburger (without the bun/sweetened condiments of course!) and I think that's because the texture of a hamburger is more even since everything is ground together.

Do you think if I stick to grass fed organic ground beef that I can get away with not eating steak? I've given it many spirited tries and I just don't ever want to eat it again. I honestly end up horking it down as fast as I can to get to the veggies on my plate.

Additionally - I never see anyone mentioning ham as a Paleo food. I would assume that this is due to the Nitrates in almost all Ham. Does anyone know if you can get any Paleo friendly Ham or is that an impossibility? *

Thank you everyone!

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18619 · March 11, 2011 at 12:53 AM

You are not doomed. Eat your grass-fed ground beef and fish as your main protein sources, supplement with bacon and occasional chicken. You'll be fine.

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39204 · March 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM

You'd like get out of whack with PUFAs and omega-6 if all you ate were servings of corn-fed chicken and pigs, although I suppose the fish would balance out some of the omega-6, but add more PUFAs. You could try different cuts or different recipes to see if it appeals to you, but even if you never eat ruminant flesh, your diet will be exponentially more healthy than your previous diet likely was.

Edit: Actually read your post for real this time and saw the ground beef; in that case, you're fine. Uncured ham wouldn't be all that bad to eat, if you can find it.

24012 · March 11, 2011 at 1:10 AM

I rarely eat steak because I simply can't afford it. I absolutely loathe roasts of any kind and will never, ever eat one. Life is way to short to eat stuff you don't enjoy. I stick to ground beef, chicken, pork and seafood for my animal flesh.

I think you'll be just fine.

3576 · March 11, 2011 at 1:45 AM

Along with what everyone else has said, it's not what I'd call ideal to rely solely on muscle meat. If you can stand the idea of eating organ meat you might consider doing so every now and again. Also learn how to make bone broth and get some gelatin (from the broth or the packets) into your diet. Much better amino profile that way--yes, you get complete protein from muscles, but the amino balance is still just a little bit skewed, and the gelatin has a corrective effect. Ray Peat's written some about that, and I know someone who's had a longtime sleep disorder but is sleeping much better on gelatin and wakes up better in the mornings too.

Nuttin' wrong with eating ground beef though. Ground beef's nummy.

3914 · March 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I never used to be a big steak eater, because whenever I went out to eat with a group of people, most of them would order steak (especially the men, because steak is especially manly, y'know), and then they'd be sending it back because it was overcooked or undercooked or gristly or whatever. Meanwhile I'd be enjoying my fish, not even having had to instruct the cook how to prepare it.

In recent years, I've gotten good pasture-raised beef and learned to cook a steak properly myself, and under those conditions I love a good steak now and then. But if I'm eating out, I still order fish 90% of the time. Don't see why that can't be just as paleo.

On the subject of ham, the curing process does require nitrites, but you can get them from different sources. The common source is sodium nitrate, which converts to sodium nitrite during the process. The "natural" option is to use celery juice, which has lots of naturally-occurring nitrites. So it's possible to get cured meat that's labeled "no nitrites added" that's actually higher in nitrites than standard cured meats, because the nitrites from vegetable sources aren't counted as "added". Go figure. Anyway, I don't suppose cured meats can be considered "paleo" in the strict sense; but if you're worried about nitrates/nitrites, do some research about how tenuous the nitrite-cancer connection is and the evidence of beneficial gut effects of nitrites, and you might not worry about them anymore.

15334 · March 11, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I think you'll be completely fine, I never eat steak, apart from the 4-5 times a year I go to a restaurant. It's unjustifiably expensive. I do still eat beef muscle meat from mince, joints (some of which are rump/sirloin, so the same as a steak anyway) and stewed beef (oxtail, braising steak etc). If it's the texture and redness of steak that you don't like, I'd have thought that stewed or well done meat would be relatively palatable though. Incidentally if you were to get a steak (for some reason), couldn't you just grind it up into ground beef anyway?

I would suggest having chicken relatively infrequently, rather than as a staple. The fat of chicken is about 13% o-6 and I've seen no evidence that this improves substantially if the chickens are better fed. Even if you leave aside the fat though, the meat is quite substantially less nutritious than red meat. Of course, if you just want a tasty source of protein then it's fine, but not a staple for meaty nutrients.

2854 · March 11, 2011 at 6:07 AM

I feel the same way! My staple is ground gf beef and ground venison. A big bowl of that with a spoon and I'm a happy carnivore. It's my comfort food!

60 · March 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Sign me up for the "I Hate Steak" club. I was raised on a farm, and we never had steak - but we had beef almost every night for dinner. I think most of the steak was ground up for hamburger. Anyway, I'm like you - the red "juice" (blood?) which runs out when it is cut just absolutely grosses me out. I think it was one of the things that sent me over the edge - and made me a vegan for an entire year.

I'm recovering now. I enjoy ground beef - and crockpot-cooked roasts...yum.

2062 · March 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I don't see why you'd be doomed to failure - there's a lot more to a cow than just steak. We eat it maybe once a month at best, but eat a great deal of ground beef, roasts, stew meat, brisket and braising cuts like bottom round, which may be labeled "steak" but needs long, slow cooking.

As for ham, we source pastured hogs from a local farmer and always ask that our hams and bacon be processed without MSG or nitrates. They are brined in salt, then cold smoked. Very, very tasty when prepared properly, but a completely different from a chemically cured, commercial ham.

224 · March 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM

I'm not a huge fan of just a slab of steak. But I'm glad there are TONS of options out there.

Lamb: ground, shank, ribs... delicious. Pork: shoulder is my favorite; bacon is amazing; loin is great when cooked properly; pork belly is sinfully delicious! Bison: ground is delicious for chillies. Fish: tons and tons of options. Fowl: chicken and duck!

Obviously a big steak is out of the question, but I do love steak cut into fajita strips, or stew meat that I slow cook all day.

Paleo isn't just steak!

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