Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back visiting with the Executive Director of Nutrition Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dr. Shalene McNeill, talking about beef nutrition research.
“We want to build on some great research builds that we have had, even over the past few years,” McNeill said. “Now, more state beef councils are investing in research because they see the importance as well as what we are doing with the national checkoff.”
In the last six months, McNeill said the Beef Checkoff has completed two big studies.
“One is getting back to the dietary guidelines showing that today, Americans are eating beef within the recommendations of the dietary guidelines,” McNeill said. “In other words, we don’t have to cut back on our beef intake to fit and meet the dietary guidelines.”
The second research study released, McNeill said, was focused on diabetes.
“We actually showed that regular beef eating as part of a healthy and balanced high-protein diet reversed some of the symptoms of diabetes,” McNeill said. “You can eat a higher protein diet, you can have great health benefits, you can reverse some of the symptoms of diabetes…”
McNeill said Americans do not have to eat a lot of beef, but if they choose to do so, they can still have a healthy and balanced diet.
“A lot of people want to eat a balanced diet, but they want to eat more beef in their diet, and this research shows that when you are eating a balanced diet, you can bump up your protein, it can be from beef, and you can reverse some of those signs of diabetes,” McNeill said.
Moving into the new fiscal year, McNeill said checkoff research is looking to study the impact of beef consumption on brain power and brain development.
“We know that beef builds strong bodies because we know that it can build muscle,” McNeill said. “Beef eating is really good for muscle repair and muscle maintenance, and that is an important area of research that will continue, especially for aging.”
As consumers today are defining health more broadly, McNeill said they want to feel good not only physically but mentally and emotionally.
“We think beef plays a role in all of that, so we are going to do some new areas of exploration that I think are really exciting, but also build on some of those areas we have done in the past like healthy aging, healthy weight loss, healthy growth and development for growth and teenagers…,” McNeill said.
McNeill said the consumer has a positive view of beef, and continuing to educate influencers such as dietitians and physicians will be a big focus.
“Physicians are also beginning to see that when their patients are eating diets that they are familiar with, that they like, that can help them stay satisfied longer-and that includes beef- they are becoming more open-minded,” McNeill said. “We still have a lot of work to do to make sure we are in front of those health care professionals with the latest science. They want to see science.”
To learn more about the human nutrition research efforts that the Beef Checkoff is being invested into, click here.
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