Scientific Evidence to Support the Role of Lean Beef in a Healthy, Balanced Diet is Strong

Mar 12, 2012, 18:50 ET from The Beef Checkoff

CENTENNIAL, Colo., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, Executive Director, Human Nutrition Research, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor for The Beef Checkoff:

"The scientific evidence to support the role of lean beef in a healthy, balanced diet is strong and there is nothing in this study that changes that fact. Research clearly shows that choosing lean beef as part of a healthful diet is associated with improved overall nutrient intake, overall diet quality and positive health outcomes. Overall, lifestyle patterns including a healthy diet and physical activity, not consumption of any individual food, have been shown to affect mortality.

Additionally, it is significant to note that this was an observational study. Observational studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect.

If there is one thing scientists agree on, it is that responsible dietary advice must be drawn from a look at the entire body of evidence, including rigorous, gold standard randomized control trials when they are available.  In the case of beef, there are several randomized control trials which have convincingly shown that lean beef, when included as part of a healthy, balanced diet, improves heart health by lowering cholesterol.  Most recently, the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) study showed that eating lean beef every day, as part of a heart-healthy diet, could reduce LDL cholesterol by 10 much as any other recommended heart healthy diets.

In addition to being physically active, the most important thing we can do as Americans to live healthfully is to choose a balanced diet including a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein-rich foods like lean beef.  A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides a powerhouse of 10 essential nutrients, such as protein, zinc and iron, for about 150 calories, on average. Through scientific research, nutrition education and increased lean beef availability, farmers and ranchers are committed to helping Americans enjoy lean beef as part of a healthy diet." 

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SOURCE The Beef Checkoff