1. Trim all visible fat from any cut of beef before cooking.

2. Lean beef has less fat amid the muscle tissues, so don't overcook, or it will be tough and dry.

3. For a healthier burger, skip fatty ground beef. Buy a lean cut (or half chuck, half sirloin) and coarsely chop it in a food processor, then form patties.

4. De-fat beef soups and stews by chilling and removing fat solids. Every tablespoon of fat removed saves you 100 calories.

5. As with all meat products, handle carefully and cook thoroughly. According to the USDA, steaks and roasts should be cooked to at least 145 degrees, ground beef to 160 degrees. Doneness is a personal preference, however, and with the exception of ground beef, meat can be cooked to slightly lower temperatures. Ground beef is more likely to contain pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella, both of which die when exposed to sufficient heat. Beef that's cooked slowly is safest; the lengthy cooking process destroys pathogens and also avoids the carcinogens found in charred meat.