Including Beef in Healthy Diets is a Smart Approach to Healthy Lifestyles

Cattle Producers Weigh in on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, told members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in oral comments that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows healthy diets including red meat, like beef, support optimal health and well-being.

“Beef is a high-quality protein powerhouse providing a unique combination of bioavailable iron, zinc and B vitamins essential to building and maintaining strength from infancy through our later years,” Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, NCBA Executive Director of Nutrition Research, said.

NCBA also emphasized to the committee that beef is rich in nostalgia and nutrients.  Beef was enjoyed for centuries and continues to be part of most Americans’ diets, traditions and celebrations.

Beef nourishes bodies and minds while optimizing health at every stage of life. As more Americans are overweight, it is important to make every calorie count. Calorie for calorie, no other protein delivers the same package of 10 essential nutrients. Today’s beef is leaner than ever before and Americans’ consumption of calories and fat from beef have declined.

“As a registered dietitian, nutrition scientist and advocate for healthy eating, it’s important for people who include beef as a source of nourishment and satisfaction in a healthy diet to know that the best science available today continues to reinforce this is a smart approach for a healthy lifestyle,” McNeill said.

Jointly updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the DGAs serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. During this process, a group of experts in the nutrition and health fields are appointed to the DGAC. These individuals are tasked with reviewing the latest nutrition research to make science-based recommendations to HHS and USDA on the food and beverages that promote a healthy, balanced diet.

Providing oral comment is an important part of the DGA process. On behalf of beef farmers and ranchers, NCBA—a contractor to the to the Beef Checkoff, an industry research and promotion program that utilized scientific evidence as the basis for its information—urges the DGAC to systematically review the totality of scientific evidence.  The DGAC encourages the usage of best practices which are thorough, transparent and relevant when making decisions. This will ultimately result in nutritional policies which can measurably improve the health of Americans.

Learn more about beef’s nutrient-rich profile and find ways to incorporate the mouthwatering, high-quality protein into your healthy lifestyle at Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.


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