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Effective Solutions for Weight loss and Heart Health

Feb 21, 2016 03:49PM ● By MED Magazine

By Holly Swee

The latest research presents a new way of thinking about beef: Lean beef can be part of a solution for heart health and weight loss.

A new study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers from Penn State University, which concluded that animal protein foods – including lean beef – can be just as effective as plant proteins in achieving weight loss and improving risk factors for metabolic syndrome as part of a heart-healthy dietary pattern1. The full study can be found online here.

You may have heard about the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) dietary pattern that is considered the “gold standard” heart-healthy diet that features fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein, predominantly from plant sources, and limits red meat and sweets. The DASH dietary pattern is a commonly prescribed diet by physicians to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in their patients.  However, there is a growing body of evidence that shows lean beef can be part of a heart-healthy diet, too.

Research from Penn State University previously published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Human Hypertension demonstrated that eating lean beef, as part of a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, can significantly help reduce blood pressure2 and reduce levels of total and LDL "bad" cholesterol3.  It should be noted that this evidence suggests that it is the total protein intake - not the type of protein - that is instrumental in reducing blood pressure as part of a DASH-like dietary pattern. 

Holly Swee, RD, LN, is Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information at the South Dakota Beef Industry Council 


1.       Hill AM, et al. Type and amount of dietary protein in the treatment of metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;102:757-70.
2.       Roussell MA, et al. Effects of a DASH-like diet containing lean beef on vascular health. J Hum Hypertens 2014;28:600-5.
3.       Roussell MA, et al. Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:9-16.