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3 Reasons Bison is Back

People near and far are rediscovering what Native Americans knew for thousands of years: Bison is one delicious and nutritious food.
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Also known as: Buffalo or American Buffalo

Likes: Roaming plains, kitchens and menus

Dislikes: The “gamey” stereotype

Hobbies: One-upping the Beef competition with added nutrition and lower fat and calories

Find him: Roasted, grilled, ground and made into burgers, loaves, meatballs, and taking Beef’s place in any type of recipe

He’s back!  Bison, also known as American Buffalo, is staging a big comeback after decades of near extinction, and he’s doing it by way of one of our favorite places—the kitchen.  People near and far are rediscovering what Native Americans knew for thousands of years: Bison is one delicious and nutritious food.

Throughout history, these hardy animals roamed North America, a fixture in the landscape that came to epitomize the free and wild spirit of the New World as settlers headed west.  As the West was won, Bison gradually lost land to roam and became such a staple in diets that he came very near to extinction.  That’s all changing now.  He’s back on the scene in a very big way, thanks to some very dedicated ranchers across the country and 3 very important benefits he can offer you:

  • Lower calories and fat – Bison is a lean and not too mean protein.  He naturally has less fat and fewer calories per serving than other red-meat options, making him a diet-friendly choice for those who still like a good steak.  
  • Higher amounts of omega-3s – Bison is a pretty low-maintenance guy.  He prefers spending his days just roaming the range and eating grass.  While this may not be conducive to conversation, it’s a great way for him to build up heart-healthy omega-3s.  If you’re not a big fan of seafood, another key source of these essential fatty acids, grass-fed Bison is a natural choice to get your recommended omega-3s.  Studies of omega-3s show a wide range of health benefits in addition to a healthy heart—so eat up!
  • Richer flavor – When you think of Bison, you may think “gamey.”  If this is the case, Bison is ready to prove you wrong.  His rich and deep flavor is so similar to Beef that you may not even be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test.  Chefs recommend slightly different cooking times and temperatures than Beef to make the most of this protein without sacrificing flavor or a moist and juicy texture.

If you’ve never been properly introduced to Bison, the best place to start is a restaurant that serves this iron-rich lean protein.  Get to know Bison a little before you take him home to your kitchen.  When you’re ready, go wild with Bison recipes like these.

Here are some of our dietitians’ recommendations for Healthy Dining menu choices with Bison:
Grilled Bison Bavette Steak at Log Haven
(560 calories, 25 g fat, 610 mg sodium)
Located in Salt Lake City, UT

Bison Burger at UFood Grill
(370 calories, 3.5 g fat)
Located in MD, MA, OH, TX, UT

Kid's Bison Slider with Skim Milk at Silver Diner
(Vegetable, Lean Protein, Whole Grains)
Located in MD, NJ, VA

If you’re still a fan of Beef, Bison understands.  He’s confident he’ll win you over sooner or later, but in the meantime, he suggests some of these beefy favorites at Healthy Dining restaurants:
Hamburger with Apple Slices at Sesame Place
(540 calories, 22 g fat)
Located in Langhorne, PA

Flat Iron Steak (Lunch) at Longhorn Steakhouse
(350 calories, 18 g fat, 200 mg sodium)
Located nationwide

Keep It Simple Burger at Red Robin
(440 calories, 20 g fat, 750 mg sodium)
Located nationwide

Steak Plate at Waba Grill
(740 calories, 17 g fat, 250 mg sodium)
Located in Southern California

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