This diet with lean beef may lower your heart disease risk

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In a new study from Penn State, researchers found that although eating red meat may have a bad reputation for being bad for the heart, lean beef may have a place in healthy diets.

They found that a Mediterranean diet combined with small portions of lean beef helped lower risk factors for developing heart disease, such as LDL cholesterol.

They suggest that healthy diets can include a wide variety of foods, such as red meat, and still be heart-friendly.

In the study, the team tested 59 participants. Every participant consumed each diet for four weeks each.

Three of the four diet periods contained different amounts of beef to a Mediterranean diet plan, which provided 41% calories from fat, 42% from carbohydrates and 17% from protein.

The team found participants all had lower LDL cholesterol following the Mediterranean diet periods compared to the average American diet.

But while the total numbers of LDL particles were reduced following all three Mediterranean diet periods, they were only strongly decreased when following those periods that included 0.5 or 2.5 ounces of beef a day compared to the average American diet.

Additionally, non-HDL cholesterol and apoB—a protein involved in lipid metabolism and a marker of heart risk—were lower following all three Mediterranean diet periods compared to the average American diet.

The team says the study underscores the importance of consuming healthy, well-balanced diets.

When people create a healthy diet built on fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, it leaves room for moderate amounts of other foods like lean beef.

There are still important nutrients in beef that people can benefit from by eating lean cuts like the loin or round, or 93% lean ground beef.

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The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. One author of the study is Jennifer Fleming.

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