Beef – the good news

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There’s no shortage of misleading, negative information about beef floating around the Internet these days, so when positive articles appear in the general media, we like to give them some attention. Over the weekend, I came across two such articles, presenting balanced information about the role of beef in a healthy diet.

Breaking News One Yahoo Health article by Lisa Collier Cool was titled “Muscle-building food men need.”  The article refers to research published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, showing middle-aged men who regularly eat six-ounce servings of 85 percent lean ground beef retain more muscle mass than those eating the USDA-recommended three-ounce serving.  

The article goes on to note methodology problems with some studies that have indicated health risks from eating beef, and cites a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which participants lowered their “bad”  cholesterol by 10 percent while eating four to five-and-a-half ounces of lean beef per day. 

The author also minimum recommended daily allowance for protein for adult men and women is .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. An adult weighing 68 kilograms, or 150-pounds, would need 54 grams of protein a day, or about 6 ounces of lean meat or poultry.

Another article, by Simeon Margolis, MD, PhD, is titled “Should we limit our intake of meat?” Dr. Margolis notes that conventional wisdom has maintained the cholesterol and saturated fat content of meat means we should strictly limit consumption. However, he says a 1999 study found that eating lean beef, pork and veal didn’t raise cholesterol levels any more than chicken or fish. A new Harvard University review of 20 studies, published in the journal Circulation, found that the intake of unprocessed meats beef, pork, or lamb did not increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

Processed meats such as bacon, sausage and deli meats do not get off as easily, with their consumption linked to higher rates of heart disease and other health problems. Research suggests saturated fats are not factor, as levels are similar in processed and fresh meats. The difference in risk likely is related to much higher levels of sodium and nitrate preservatives in the processed meats.

Margolis suggests eating lean cuts, replacing red meat some days with fish or poultry, eating ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, and grains, using polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils such as olive or canola oil for cooking, and avoiding the trans fats found in solid margarines and snack foods

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corrine winne    
April, 30, 2013 at 09:15 AM

Grasping at straws? Look, first horse slaughter, then illegal workers, then visas and now we r ecited about another studythat proves nothing again. I am almost ready to get outof cattle altogether. You people r embarrassing us. We made over 16 million in cattle over 30years of cattle and corn. We ignored all the articles, reports and outright lies and we made our fortune. Even when the economy flopped we lost nothing. We have no body not born in America working for us. We dont cut corners ever, we just farm, cattle graze. We make money. You people need to quit listening thwcrap they write in tbis magazine and make money instead. These peoples next crop will be pot, its obvious they are smoking some now!

Stephen B. Smith    
Texas A&M University  |  April, 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

This is a balanced article citing studies from some of the leading authorities in human nutrition. You might also want to see these related articles: Adams, T. H., R. L. Walzem, D. R. Smith, S. Tseng, and S. B. Smith. 2010. Hamburger high in total, saturated and trans-fatty acids decreases HDL cholesterol and LDL particle diameter, and increases plasma TAG, in mildly hypercholesterolaemic men. Br. J. Nutr. 103:91-98. Gilmore, L. A., R. L. Walzem, S. F. Crouse, D. R. Smith, T. H. Adams, V. Vaidyananthan, X. Cao, and S. B. Smith. 2011. Consumption of high-oleic acid ground beef increases HDL cholesterol concentration but both high- and low-oleic acid ground beef decrease HDL particle diameter in normocholesterolemic men. J. Nutr. 141:1188-1194.

georgia  |  May, 01, 2013 at 07:45 AM

Ever heard of Beefalo? It is a cross between American Bison and any beef breed. It is as low in fat as chicken and fish yet tastes like beef, not dry like Bison. Google it and find out where to purchase it in your area.

James ReMalia    
Ohio  |  May, 01, 2013 at 01:30 PM

You seem to be avoiding how the price has gone up & up & up . . .

New York  |  May, 01, 2013 at 05:20 PM

Just curious about the financial support or affiliation of these "beef is good for you" promoters.

Arizona  |  May, 01, 2013 at 11:46 PM

It take a congressional order to acknowledge what every red neck for the last 40 years has said ALL along. Gee aint you the smart one.

SD  |  May, 03, 2013 at 11:08 AM

THese comments show that people will whine and criticize even when handed good news: the fact that some health writers are FINALLY getting the facts into their head that beef is actually good for people, rather than quoting only the anti-beef activist researchers! Ms. Winne, take your own advice and "get out of cattle altogether". Better yet, sell your cattle production unit at a fair price to a young family who desperately wants to raise cattle, but have no family connection of 'sugar daddy' to help them get started. What a hero you could be! Thanks Mr. Smith, for your helpful information of researchers with GOOD NEWS about beef nutrients! joe, what is the nutrient profile of Beefalo, compared to bison, or beef? Has anyone ever seen that done? I sure haven't seen it for either beefalo or bison. I do know that bison can be an excellent, tasty meal if cooked properly. My guess is that most of those quoted, are simply people who have seen the accurate information regarding nutrition of beef, and understand that it is NOT harmful to most people. They also seem to understand that the beef checkoff folks, and those who produce, process, and sell it are promoting a moderate consumption of beef and are proud to tell the world that beef is a safe, beneficial, nutritious, and tasty food which can be part of a healthful diet for most people. Some may be researchers, and it would be wiser to look up what they and Dr. Margolis do to earn a living if you distrust their comment on what other researchers have stated regarding nutrition or safety of beef than to cast doubts about the conclusions in the article, wouldn't it?

Smithe728  |  July, 04, 2014 at 07:27 PM

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