Beef Buzz News
BOLD Study Shows Lean Beef Compatible With Heart-Healthy Diet
Fri, 02 Mar 2012 16:27:30 CST
Ron Hays Interviews Dr. Shalene McNeill of the NCBA
Conventional wisdom regarding the place of beef in a heart-healthy diet has long been a source of disappointment for beef lovers. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet limits red meat intake to one ounce per day.
Nutritionists and researchers began challenging some of the underlying assumptions of the DASH diet and, with the assistance of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, launched a research project to determine if beef could and should play a bigger role in a heart-healthy diet. McNeil said beef checkoff dollars were used to commission highly-credible researchers to design a rigorous study that would stand up to the scrutiny of top-tier nutritional journals.
In an interview with Ron Hays, Shalene McNeil, a registered dietician working with the NCBA, said preliminary results from the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) Study are encouraging not only for beef lovers, but also for beef producers.
“This is a huge study for farmers and ranchers. It puts to test the current ‘gold standard’ heart-healthy diet that’s low in beef and challenges that with a diet that’s rich in beef and that’s still heart healthy.
“What this study shows is that you can add lean beef every day to a heart-healthy diet and lower your cholesterol as effectively as a diet that’s low in beef. That’s great news for the 96 percent of Americans who are enjoying beef and looking for ways to include it in a healthy diet,” McNeil said.
Researchers found that increasing the amount of beef in the DASH diet from a single ounce per day to as much as 5.4 ounces per day still allowed consumers to lower their cholesterol by the same ten percentage points.
McNeil said while the BOLD diet is great news for consumers, overcoming years of inertia and misinformation about the role lean red meat can play in a heart-healthy diet is a difficult task.
“An integrated and comprehensive strategy is needed to communicate the findings,” she said, but by having ensured the BOLD study was designed to the highest professional standards means that “the health professional team can go out and talk to registered dieticians and healthcare professionals about the benefits it provides.”
McNeil said she that, armed with the results of the BOLD study, “consumer marketing teams can go out and talk to consumers about what the health benefits are. We’re going to be spending this whole year talking about the benefits of the BOLD Diet.”
McNeil said the research is ongoing and that more papers will be published in the future using data collected during the BOLD Study.
You can hear the full interview with Shalene McNeil by pressing the LISTEN BAR below.
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