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Date: 6/26/2014

Title: Be BOLD: Eat Beef

The Beef Checkoff, a contractor of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, has been funding heart health research to demonstrate that eating beef can help lower cholesterol and improve overall vascular health. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S., affecting more than 81.1 million people.

Recent results of the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) Study have shown that including 4.0 to 5.4 ounces of lean beef with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and low-fat dairy decreases total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure. Conducted by scientists at the Pennsylvania State University,  this is the first study to evaluate the effects of increasing lean beef within a balanced diet on blood pressure and vascular health.

Researchers compared the BOLD diet containing higher protein, predominantly from lean beef, to a diet that contained less protein, but higher carbohydrates and saturated fats. For five weeks, subjects followed each of these different diets and researchers found that the diets that had higher protein content with the combination of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.

These findings suggest that heart-healthy moderate protein balanced diets that include lean beef can positively affect vascular health and total protein is important for reducing systolic blood pressure. Currently, 38 cuts of beef are considered lean by the United States Department of Agriculture, making finding that perfect cut of beef even easier.

NCBA and the Beef Checkoff are proud to support these findings and continue to educate consumers and producers on the benefits of incorporating lean beef in a healthy diet. With more than one out of three Americans being diagnosed with heart disease, NCBA and the Checkoff are continuing their research efforts to further benefit the dietary health of Americans.