Beef and Your Heart
In the largest worldwide review of red meat and heart disease ever completed, researchers at Harvard found that eating up to 100g of unprocessed red meat (beef, pork, lamb) per day is not associated with higher risk of heart disease.1
Similarly, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) – a large study that followed close to half a million people for more than 12 years – found no association between eating fresh red meat and any cause of death, including cancer or heart disease.2
Lean and Mean
When trimmed of visible fat, the majority of beef cuts are lean, meaning they contain less than 10% fat. With beef, the fat is mostly visible so you’re in control of how much you eat.
Trimmed beef fits into a lower-fat diet. On average, men can have 90 grams of fat a day, and women can have 65 grams. A 75 gram serving of cooked, trimmed beef has just 6.3 grams of fat. That’s less than 10% of your fat ‘budget’ for the day!
Trimmed beef also compares favourable to skinless chicken. A piece of trimmed sirloin steak has only a little more fat than skinless light chicken meat and considerably less fat than skinless dark chicken meat.
A Surprising Fat Profile
We sometimes forget that fat is an essential nutrient. Fats are required to make hormones and other important compounds in your body. You also need fat in your diet to help you absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E.
It is often assumed that the kind of fat found in beef is the cholesterol-raising saturated fat type. While beef contains some saturated fat (as do many other healthy foods such as eggs, dairy and even salmon!), almost 50% of the fat in beef is monounsaturated, the same type of fat in olive oil.
Still concerned about your cholesterol? The news on beef might surprise you. With over 10 years of scientific research confirming that you can enjoy beef and manage your cholesterol, you can feel confident choosing beef as a healthy component of your family’s diet.
1. Micha R, Wallace SK, Mozaffarian D. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Circulation 2010; 12 (21): 2271-83.
2. Rohrmann S et al. Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). BMC Medicine 2013; 11: 63 (e-pub).