Stacy Bates, R.D.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are some of the best weapons for fighting heart disease. A heart-healthy diet with moderate amounts of lean protein such as lean beef can provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health. In fact, lean beef has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, through the following:Feel Full Longer: According to a 2007 Journal of Medicine study, protein has more staying power than carbohydrates and fat. Eating a moderately high protein diet diet can curb hunger and reduce the body's desire to eat. This is important because obesity is now recognized as a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Heart disease incidence significantly increases for those individuals who are overweight or obese.
Improve Muscle Strength and Metabolism: Research has shown that including high quality protein such as lean beef in the diet helps to optimize muscle strength and metabolism, thus helping to improve overall health. Eating at least 4 ounces of lean, high quality protein at each meal may help maintain muscle mass and provide energy essential to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels: A 3-ounce serving of lean beef is composed of 50% monounsaturated fats, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Another 20% of the fats in that same 3-ounce serving comes from stearic acid, a fatty acid shown to have a neutral response on blood cholesterol. In addition, a study published in the Archives of Medicine found that lean beef is just as effective as skinless chicken and fish at lowering LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Beyond these benefits, many people are surprised to hear that beef not only offers POWER in the protein but that many of your favorite cuts of beef are lean and fit into a heart-healthy diet. Did you know that there are actually 29 cuts of beef that are LEAN, meaning they contribute less than 200 calories, less than 10 grams of total fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat and less than 90 milligrams of cholesterol per 3-ounce serving? Choose from your favorite lean beef cuts for dinner tonight and discover a complete recipe for better heart-health with lean protein, nine essential nutrients and great taste!
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