Over the last four decades, Americans have consumed nearly 200 calories more each day from flour and cereal products, while calories from meat, eggs and nuts have remained virtually unchanged. This fact was unveiled by a recent beef checkoff study, and the results come at the perfect time, as USDA just released new dietary guidelines that urge Americans to eat fewer calories and exercise more.
“At a time when calories really matter, lean beef is a solution that satisfies our appetites and provides more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods,” says Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., R.D. and executive director of human nutrition research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), in response  to the new guidelines.
"The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic disease," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says of the new guidelines. The guidelines  suggest that consumers cut back on fats, salts, added sugars and refined grains and eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry and seafood.
Nutrient-dense beef is a critical part of a well-balanced diet. More than 29 popular beef cuts meet government guidelines for lean, including favorites such as sirloin, flank steak, tenderloin, t-bone steak and 95% lean ground beef. A 3-oz. serving of lean beef provides 10 nutrients the body needs such as protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins for an average of 154 calories. It takes two to three times more calories to get the same amount of protein from many plant-based alternatives. Lean beef truly offers weight-loss solutions, and more than 95% of Americans enjoy this power-packed protein source.
What do you think of the new dietary guidelines? How do you enjoy healthy beef at your house? What’s your favorite beef recipe?