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Burgers: fatty patties vs. extra-lean.

Buying extra-lean ground beef is not very effective way to reduce dietary intake of fat and cholesterol, according to nutritionists Kenneth Prusa and Karla Hughes at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Comparing broiled hamburgers made from 100 grams of regular, lean and extra-lean ground beef, their studies show that cholesterol differences among precooked patties level out during broiling. Similarly, they found that fat in the different grinds varied by only 5 percent after broiling, even though they had a threefold precooked difference (regular being 28.5 percent fat by weight, extra-lean 9 percent).

During broiling, the leaner patties lost most of their weight s moisture, Prusa says, whereas fattier ones lost more fat and cholesterol. Moreover, the one-third loss in weight among broiled lean and extra-lean patties was only about 4 percent less than the broiling loss experienced in regular-grind burgers. Considering the premium price charged for leaner grinds, Hughes says, "that extra 4 percent isn't a very significant loss."

But the most important factor for burger lovers: A trained taste panel preferred regular beef to leaner grinds because it made for juicier and more tender burgers.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 10, 1985
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