(BPT) – When you think about eating a heart-healthy diet, do you picture beef? Beef may not be a food that immediately comes to mind when you think heart health. However, lean beef is a nutrient-rich and flavorful food that supports a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle.
Numerous research studies have shown that incorporating lean beef into a heart-healthy diet pattern can help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In fact, research from Penn State University found that people who participated in the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) Study — who ate 4 to 5 ounces of lean beef each day as a part of a heart-healthy diet including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low and non-fat dairy — maintained healthy blood cholesterol levels.
People are more likely to maintain a healthy diet if it is satisfying and enjoyable, says Shalene H. McNeill, Ph.D., RDN, executive director of Nutrition Science, Health and Wellness at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association — a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. “The good news is you don’t have to give up your favorite foods like beef. It’s all about balance.”
In honor of American Hearth Month, McNeill has offered her top three tips and recipes for incorporating beef into your diet so you can support your heart health and your taste buds too.
1. Choose lean cuts
When shopping for beef, opt for the leanest cuts available. A good rule of thumb is to look for “round” or “loin,” like sirloin, tenderloin or eye round roast. These cuts typically have a lower fat content, making them heart-friendlier options that are equally tasty.
2. Employ heart-healthy cooking methods
The way we prepare our meals can significantly impact its nutritional value. Before cooking beef, trim any visible fat which also helps cut calories. Cooking techniques