Ames- In the 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.
Internationally recognized nutrition scientist Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD and her team of researchers at Penn State published the findings of their beef checkoff-funded nutrition research study in the online version of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The paper will appear in the January print issue of the journal.
The Penn State team named this study "BOLD," an acronym for Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet. The results show that adding daily servings of lean beef to the low saturated fat, high fiber, heart-healthy diet typically recommended by health professionals (such as DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) can lower heart disease risk by reducing levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Researchers tested two levels of lean beef in heart-healthy diets on subjects with moderately-high cholesterol: the BOLD diet which included 4 ounces of lean beef every day and the BOLD-PLUS diet which contained 5.4 ounces of beef each day. Subjects consuming both of these diets experienced a 10% decrease in their LDL cholesterol from the start of the study.
The improvements in heart health from the BOLD diet are similar to those found in the gold-standard DASH diet and other highly referenced heart-healthy diets which limit red meat and focus on poultry and plant protein.
"Previous checkoff-funded nutrition studies have found evidence that lean beef can be as effective as lean chicken in a cholesterol-lowering diet, and the BOLD results strengthen the science providing evidence that America's favorite protein, beef, is also as good as plant protein-rich diets for heart health," said Elaine Utesch, Correctionville, cattle farmer and vice chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
"We've known for years that beef not only tastes great but it also plays an important role in a heart-healthy diet. Many of the recipes used in the BOLD study were from The Healthy Beef Cookbook. To learn more about the BOLD study as well as lean beef's nutrition and heart health benefits visit our nutrition website BeefNutrition.org or BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com," added Utesch.