Lean Beef: A Heart-Healthy Red Meat

Julia Little  |  February 27, 2012

Since February is National Heart Month, many seniors and their caregivers are thinking about what they can do to improve their heart health. Avoiding red meat has always been thought of as one way to do so, but a new study shows that lean beef may actually have significant benefits to the heart.

Researchers at Penn State University developed four different diets for participants to eat over a period of five weeks. Every meal was planned out and the diets were balanced to provide similar amounts of nutrients. The key difference was the meat used. Previous studies have shown the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet as a top way to lower cholesterol. This study's BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) took those same principals and included lean beef as the meat in many meals, as opposed to turkey or chicken used in the DASH study.

The results were a 10 percent drop in LDL or "bad" cholesterol, along with a drop in overall cholesterol. The results were similar to the DASH diet and beat the other diets designed by researchers.

Changing a diet can be one of the more difficult things for seniors to adjust to as they enter their golden years. Those in senior care communities who love red meat may want to consider switching to a leaner beef rather than cutting it out of their diet entirely.

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