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3 Meat Rules to Keep Your Diet Fx-Friendly

Omnivores rejoice! Adopting an Fx-style eating pattern does not require giving up the occasional burger.

Recall Fx Pillar 4: Pick your protein. It suggests choosing plants over fish over fowl over beef. Translation? Meat isn’t forbidden! I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel quite liberated. After all, there’s nothing like my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce with grass-fed meatballs on a chilly fall evening, or a bowl of Mel’s Soothing Chicken Soup to nurse the common cold.

Meat absolutely can be part of your Fx meal plan when you follow three simple rules. And lucky for you, Heinen’s makes it really easy!

Rule #1: Start with a Healthy Animal

A healthy animal means an animal that’s been humanely raised with no added hormones.

Heinen’s beef, pork and Gerber’s chicken are all CARE Certified, meaning they come from animals that are raised sustainably.

The CARE Certification, created by our partners at Where Food Comes From, is a sustainability standard that certifies that participating farmers and ranchers are implementing exceptional practices in animal care, environmental stewardship and that they engage productively with their neighbors to help build a stronger community.

We believe in the CARE Certification because it results in a better product and because it’s simply the right thing to do.”

Rule #2: Keep Your Portions Modest

I recommend 4-5 ounces, which is a little bigger than the palm of your hand. It’s helpful to think of meat more as a side dish versus the main meal. What about the rest of your plate? I’m so glad you asked! Fill that baby with an abundance of veggies and greens, and if you like, a scoop of whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice! Check out my post on Meal Planning for more information on what an Fx-approved meal should look like.

Rule #3: Think Free-Range & Grass-Fed

When choosing chicken or turkey choose free-range and organic when possible.

Beef should be grass-fed over grain-fed. That means your meat is going to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids to help support lower levels of inflammation in the body.

Heinen’s Meat Merchandiser Catie Cantrell suggests we look for the words “100% grass-fed and finished” when searching for a grass-fed beef product. A good example of this is the Pre beef line sold in the meat department of your local Heinen’s.

Pre explains the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished as follows:

The claim “Grass Finished” is not the same as “Grass Fed” because animals that are “grass finished” can be fed grain. 

All cattle begin their lives on pasture foraging with their mothers on grass, but then they can be moved and confined to a feedlot and fed grain or grain by-products during the last months of their lives to “fatten” them up quickly. This is where the “finishing” part comes in.

If a brand wants to label their beef “100% Grass Fed”, the USDA standards do not allow for feedlot finishing or feeding cattle grains and grain by-products.

I love the Pre beef line because it offers various cuts of beef, each conveniently packaged in smaller portions to help you stay true to the second rule.

Food for Thought …

Heinen’s began as a small butcher shop over 90 years ago. Joe Heinen’s aim was to provide the community with the highest quality meat and service. Today, Heinen’s remain committed to these standards by partnering with ranchers who believe in our values and specifications, including locally-sourced beef, organic grass-fed beef and organic poultry.

Be sure to stop by our full-service meat counters and have a conversation with our expert butchers. They offer meal inspiration, preparation tips and custom cuts to fit your needs in addition to ready-to-cook meats and plant-based alternatives.


Melanie Jatsek
By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD
Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. She graduated cum laude from the University of Akron, earning a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and has over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking. As a published author of three books and registered dietitian for Heinen’s Grocery Store, Melanie offers programs, services, and tools to help Heinen’s customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in…without giving up their favorite foods.

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