Beef is still fighting its “red meat is bad for you” rap, but a recent study out of Penn State University may have just won it a small battle: Researchers found that regular consumption of lean beef can actually lower blood pressure to help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Four different diets containing 0.7, 1, 4 and 5.4 ounces of lean beef daily, respectively, were tested on 36 subjects ages 30 to 65. Interestingly, the meal plan with the highest lean-beef content, the BOLD+ diet (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet plus additional protein), was found to be the most effective of the four at lowering blood pressure.
“Beef is one of the first things a doctor will have a person remove from their diet to make it ‘heart healthy,’ but our most recent study shows that doesn’t have to be the case,” says Mike Roussell, Ph.D., a nutrition consultant in the experiment and founder of Naked Nutrition (mikeroussell.com). “People enjoy eating beef, and if we can find ways to eat the foods they enjoy in more healthful ways, they’re going to be more likely to stick to the plan and be healthier.” It’s also worth noting that the BOLD+ diet contains regular servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy and other health-promoting foods.