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Beef Up with Lean Protein

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A recent study called BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) found that including lean beef daily is as effective at lowering cholesterol levels as traditional heart-healthy diets such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

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Beef Nutrition

People can feel good about loving beef because the protein in beef is a powerful nutrient that helps strengthen and sustain their bodies. As an excellent source, beef uniquely gives people the power of protein. A substantial body of evidence shows protein can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity – all of which play an important role in a healthful lifestyle and disease prevention.

29 Cuts of Lean Beef

There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, so it’s easy for people to “go lean with protein” and follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. These 29 cuts all have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams.  Lean beef is a naturally rich source of 10 essential nutrients that are needed for a healthy, active lifestyle. On average, one 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides only 179 calories and is an excellent source of: protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorous, and a good source of: niacin, vitamin B6, iron, choline and riboflavin. 


It’s easy to enjoy more high-quality protein in your diet and get all the essential nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, lean protein is a perfect partner for fruits, vegetables and whole grains, making it even easier to enjoy a balanced diet.  Unlike plant proteins, lean beef is a high-quality protein and is the food supply’s most easily absorbed source of iron and zinc. There are two forms of iron: heme and nonheme iron.  Animal products, like beef, contain heme iron, which is much more easily absorbed by the body than nonheme iron.  Through an effect known as the “meat factor,” beef helps the body absorb nonheme iron. 

Despite popular perceptions, data indicates most Americans are not over consuming protein.  In fact, research continues to illustrate the critical role high-quality protein plays in optimal health. Making the right high-quality protein choices is essential for success.  Although not all proteins are created equal, animal protein like lean beef, is a complete high-quality protein that contains all the essential amino acids your body needs for optimal health.


Different proteins offer different caloric levels, as well as essential nutrients that are critical to promoting health and preventing chronic disease. Lean beef supplies significantly fewer calories than some vegetable proteins – and lean beef provides more nutrients in fewer calories than most other animal proteins. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides about the same amount of protein as 1½ cups of legumes – but in half the calories. A one-ounce serving of ground beef contains the same amount of protein as a half-cup serving of legumes – but only about half the calories. 

Beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that is not readily available in plant protein sources.o Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), is a natural trans fatty acid that is abundant in beef. While research on CLA is still evolving, a body of evidence suggests this compound may have cancer-fighting properties, as well as positive effects on cardiovascular disease, body composition, insulin resistance, immune function and bone health. Beef can and should be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Beef is an excellent or good source of 10 essential nutrients – including zinc, iron, protein and many B-vitamins – and there are 29 cuts that meet the government guidelines for “lean.”

Discover the power of protein in the land of lean beef by visiting