lean beef lower blood pressure
July 19, 2014

Including Lean Beef In Your Daily Diet Can Help Lower Blood Pressure And Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

An international team of nutritional scientists reveals there is a growing body of evidence to suggest eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease.

"This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State. "This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease."

The American Heart Association current endorses the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan to lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risks. DASH, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), requires no special foods. Patients adhering to this diet plan consume vegetables, fruits and fat-free or low-fat dairy, along with whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils. They are advised to limit sodium, sweets, sugary beverages and red meats.

The research team — which included members from the University of South Australia, Carnegie Mellon University, and Rutgers University — found that a DASH-like diet which included lean beef as the predominant protein source could also help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals. The DASH-like plan is called the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet plus addition protein, or BOLD+.

The team recruited 36 participants between the ages of 30 and 65. Four different diet plans were followed by all of the participants during different times throughout the study period. The order each participant followed was randomly assigned. Each diet plan lasted five weeks, with a one week resting period before starting the next diet plan. Participants' blood pressure was taken at the beginning and end of each diet plan.

The four plans (control, DASH, BOLD, and BOLD+) had varying amounts of lean beef consumption. The control diet included 0.7 ounces of lean beef per day. The DASH diet included 1.0 ounces, the BOLD diet had 4.0 ounces and the BOLD+ included 5.4 ounces of lean beef per day.

The control diet was based on the Healthy American Diet (HAD).

They found that, of the four plans, BOLD+ was the most effective at lowering blood pressure when compared to the other diets. A similar study in 2012, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the BOLD+ diet also lowers LDL cholesterol by nearly 10 percent. This reduces the risk of heart disease as well.

"This evidence suggests that it is the total protein intake — not the type of protein — that is instrumental in reducing blood pressure, as part of a DASH-like dietary pattern," the researchers stated.

The study was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Institutes of Health-supported Penn State General Clinical Research Center.

Their findings have been published in the Journal of Human Hypertension.