Saturday, January 21, 2012

Study Concludes Beef Can Improve Cholesterol Levels by 10 Percent

In a first of its kind study, researchers at The Pennsylvania State University demonstrated that eating beef everyday as part of a heart-healthy diet can improve cholesterol levels. Texas medical doctor and cattleman Richard Thorpe said the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study proves what he has known for years – lean beef not only tastes great but it also plays an important role in a heart-healthy diet.

“As a father, medical doctor and beef producer, I have proudly and confidently served my family beef and have recommended it to my patients for years,” Thorpe said on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “The BOLD study is further proof that Americans should feel good knowing the beef they enjoy eating and serving their loved ones is not only a nutrient-rich, satisfying food that provides 10 essential nutrients in about 150 calories but is good for their heart health as well.”

The BOLD study, which was funded by the Beef Checkoff, will appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January. The study followed 36 men and women with moderately elevated cholesterol levels who consumed four diets for five weeks each to measure the impact of each diet on heart health risk factors, such as LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. The four diets evaluated were BOLD, which included an average of 4 ounces of beef per day; BOLD-PLUS, which included an average of 5.4 ounces of beef per day; the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which included an average of an ounce of beef per day; and the Healthy American Diet (HAD), which included an average of 0.7 ounces of beef per day.

Subjects following the BOLD and BOLD-PLUS diets experienced a 10 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol from the start of the study. Further, according to the study’s outcomes, after five weeks, there were significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the BOLD, BOLD-PLUS and DASH diets compared to the HAD.

“This research adds to the body of evidence concluding that there are heart-health benefits to including lean beef in your daily diet,” said Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, and executive director, human nutrition research for NCBA, which is a contractor for the Beef Checkoff. “The BOLD study provides strong evidence that including daily lean beef in the gold-standard DASH diet has heart health benefits.”

McNeill said the BOLD and BOLD-PLUS diets are easy to follow as many recipes used in the BOLD study were from The Healthy Beef Cookbook, which includes a collection of healthy beef recipes.

“As families across the country prepare their holiday meals this month, lean beef is a perfect fit,” McNeill said. “Americans should feel confident putting beef on their dinner table knowing that it is part of the solution to building a nutrient-rich, well-balanced and heart-healthy diet.”

For information on beef, visit the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

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