The Power of Protein
Not all proteins are created equal
beef gives you 10 essential nutrients needed for a healthy, active
lifestyle without sacrificing taste. A typical 3-ounce serving of lean
beef is only 180 calories and is an excellent source of five nutrients
and a good source of five nutrients. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean including some of Americans’ favorites like tenderloin, T-bone, and flank steak.
A high quality protein like lean beef gives you all the essential
protein building blocks in a complete package. Incomplete proteins like
beans, nuts and grains aren’t able to provide all the building blocks
(essential amino acids) you need. Most plant foods do not have the
complete package of amino acids you need to stimulate muscle growth and
maintain good health.
Choosing lean beef as a high-quality source of protein saves you calories.
- You can get your protein from lean beef for half the calories than you would from beans, nuts or grains.
- 1½ cups of beans has two times more calories than a 3-ounce serving of lean beef.
- You would need to eat seven tablespoons of peanut butter, that’s
680 calories, to match the same amount of protein from a 3-ounce
serving of lean beef, which is about 180 calories.
The most important dietary advice people can follow are the 2005
Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid, which recommend a nutrient-rich,
balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- and nonfat
dairy, and lean meat.
- A balanced diet includes high quality protein like lean beef,
eggs and dairy, in addition to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- The Dietary Guidelines recommend including lean beef as part of a healthy diet.
- The Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommend adults eat 5½
ounces of lean protein each day as a part of a healthy diet. Most
Americans are eating less than 2 ½ ounces of red meat each day.
- As an excellent source of protein, a 3-ounce serving of lean
beef provides more than half the Daily Value recommended by the Dietary
Guidelines in less than 180 calories.
There’s a reason U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating lean meat:
That high-quality protein is hard to find anywhere else. And not
getting enough protein can have serious consequences.
- It is difficult to get enough high-quality protein and other essential nutrients if you eliminate meat from the diet.
- Unlike beans, nuts and some soy products, lean meat is a source
of high-quality protein and is the food supply’s most readily available
and easily absorbed source of iron and zinc.
Beef also is an excellent source of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that is not readily available in plant foods.
- Zinc is essential for healthy immune function and physical and mental development.
- B vitamins help convert foods that you eat into energy to fuel
activity, and Vitamin B12 specifically promotes growth and helps
Research shows high-quality protein, such as lean beef, plays an
increasingly important role in maintaining muscle, fueling activity,
managing your weight and even disease prevention.
- A protein-rich diet that includes lean beef can help in
maintaining muscle mass which contributes to burning fat. Several
studies show that protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates. When
coupled with exercise, protein can help people build muscle strength
while they lose or maintain weight.
- When you're trying to lose weight and maintain muscle, it makes sense to include foods like lean beef, eggs and dairy.
- Studies also show that an increase in protein intake helps
reduce cardiovascular disease risk and Type 2 diabetes, improves muscle
strength, and contributes to weight management.
- By including high quality protein at every meal, you can conserve calories and still get great health benefits.
High quality protein is important at many stages of life. People
like athletes, older adults, pregnant women and teenagers need to get
the right mix of nutrients for a set number of calories.
- Including high quality protein sources such as lean meat, poultry and dairy can help you maintain good health over a lifetime.
- Parents, lean protein is an essential part of nutrition for your
kids. The high-quality protein and micronutrients found in beef, eggs
and cheese is crucial to their development.
Baby boomers need to protect their muscle mass as they age.
- Research shows that animal protein specifically is associated with maintenance of muscle in older persons.
- Research indicates that protein-rich foods may have blood pressure benefits.
- An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed that
substituting carbohydrate-rich foods with protein-rich foods (in this
case, lean red meat) may lower blood pressure in people with
- Additional research found that overweight and obese adults can
lose weight and improve cholesterol levels by following moderate
carbohydrate/moderate protein diets.
- When eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat, lean, trimmed beef does not increase cardiovascular risk factors.
- There is very strong evidence that beef lowers the bad
cholesterol (LDL) by seven to 12 percent and it does so as effectively
as lean white meat.
- Research has found that people who consumed 25-30 percent of
their calories from protein reduced their risk factors for
cardiovascular disease. (Nutrition & Metabolism, 2008)
- Research indicates that moderately overweight women who consumed
lean beef or chicken as part of a nutritionally balanced,
calorie-reduced diet, in conjunction with a fitness walking program,
successfully lost weight, lowered total cholesterol, lowered LDL (bad)
cholesterol, maintained HDL (good) cholesterol, and reduced body fat.
- Protein intake higher than the RDA may help adults prevent or manage cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. (AJCN, 2008)