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Beef for Sleep Quality and Physical Function

Aug 26, 2016 11:20AM ● By MED Magazine

Recent research on diet and sleep quality conducted at Purdue University suggests that eating more protein from foods like beef, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, may help overweight and moderately obese adults improve sleep quality during weight loss. This research is especially interesting because, while many previous studies have explored the impact of sleep upon appetite and dietary choices, this one reverses the two to examine the potential impact of the diet on sleep.

A second recently published study suggests that eating more high-quality protein from foods like lean beef, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, can help obese older adults - even those with limited ability to exercise - achieve increased physical function during weight loss.

In this study, conducted by researchers at Duke University, obese older adults who ate a reduced-calorie diet higher in protein (at least 30 g of lean, high-quality protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner) had greater gains in physical function (i.e., balance, lower-body strength, and walking speed) compared to those who ate a similar diet lower in protein. The researchers used commonly available lean beef cuts such as lean ground beef and flank steak.

For more information visit and visit the Protein Challenge page. 


1.       Zhou J, et al. Higher-protein diets improve indexes of sleep in energy-restricted overweight and obese adults: results from 2 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2016103(3):766-74. Abstract available at


3.       Porter Starr K, et al. Improved function with enhanced protein intake per meal: A pilot study of weight reduction in frail, obese older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016. Full text available at


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