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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Sep 23 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

Take a bite out of buffalo

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Shhh! I have secretly been using ground bison in all my burgers and meatballs for years now and my kids don't know differently. (I must sheepishly admit that they prefer my meatballs to those of my Italian born mother!) I think I'm still safe, because my three teenagers only read my articles when I stand over them and mouth the words.

Buffalo meat (bison) is the better red meat. It comes from herbivores that roam the Great Plains and forage on grass as they walk and walk. It's the ultimate free-range meat, and you won't find it with antibiotics or growth hormone; it's just not allowed. If you've been told that you can't eat red meat, bring this article to your doctor so that he or she can beef up on the facts.

The healthier choice
Bison beats out veal, lamb, pork, beef and even chicken when it comes to fat, calories and cholesterol, as it contains less of all three. Buffalo meat also has a greater concentration of the good stuff (protein, minerals and fatty acids), provides more iron than beef and has fewer calories per 100 grams than any other meat product.

Value for money
One downside might be the expense, as bison can be pretty pricey. But if you consider how lean the meat is and that less is trimmed or drained off as fat, you actually get more value for your money.

A trend that's sweeping the nation
In 2013, almost $280 million of bison meat was sold, up 12 percent from the year prior. These days, you can find bison in more and more supermarkets and online as well.

A note: due to the low fat content of bison, it's better to use a lower heat when cooking. Also, the meat will appear a deeper red than beef.

So, let's roll 'em, pat 'em and get 'em on the grill, because we plan to take a big bite out of buffalo on Sunday!

Have a health and nutrition question for Dr. Debra Foschi? Leave a comment below or get in touch at lifestyle@patriots.com.

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