Yes, Beef is Good For You

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Red meat often gets bad press in popular media.  This is unfortunate, because red meat, and in particular beef, is one of the most nutritious foods available. Eating for a healthy heart and enjoying one of your favorite foods, aren’t at odds with one another! Recent research actually shows that eating lean beef as part of a heart healthy dietary pattern can help maintain normal cholesterol levels.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Penn State University found that people who participated in the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) Study, maintained healthy blood cholesterol levels while consuming a dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans, with lean beef as the primary protein source.

Below are several examples of lean beef, packed with iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins:

  • Extra Lean Ground Beef (96% lean, 4% fat)
  • Bottom Round Steak (USDA Select grade)
  • Extra Lean Ground Beef 96% Lean 4% Fat (with Natural Flavors)
  • Sirloin Tip Steak (USDA Select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Petite Roast, Boneless (USDA Select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Strips (USDA Select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Filet (USDA Select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Kabob (USDA Select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Steak, Boneless, Center Cut (USDA Select grade)

In fact, over 20 studies of lean beef in healthy dietary patterns support a role for lean beef in a heart healthy diet and lifestyle. Don’t believe the hype, beef is good for you!

Tim Burbeck, RD


Roussell MA, et al. Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study: effects on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:9-16.

McNeill, SH. Inclusion of red meat in healthful dietary patterns. Meat Sci 2014;98:452-60.