Eating Lean Beef Daily May Help Lower Blood Pressure

What You Need to Know: Contrary to conventional wisdom, new research suggests that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease. The DASH eating plan — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — is currently recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources. Lean beef can be enjoyed as the predominant protein source in a DASH-like diet, along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, to effectively help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals, new research suggests.

Background: The DASH eating plan — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — is recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources.

Lean beef can be enjoyed as the predominant protein source in a DASH-like diet, along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, to effectively help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals, the researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension. This DASH-like diet is also called the BOLD+ diet — Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet plus additional protein.

The Evidence: Researchers tested four diets to find the effects on vascular health. The diets tested included the Healthy American Diet — which served as the control — the BOLD+ diet, the BOLD diet and the DASH diet.

  • The control diet consisted of 0.7 ounces of lean beef per day, while the DASH diet included 1.0 ounce.
  • The BOLD diet had 4.0 ounces
  • the BOLD+ diet included 5.4 ounces of lean beef.

The researchers tested the four different diets with 36 participants, between the ages of 30 and 65. All participants followed each diet at different times throughout the study period. Subjects were randomly assigned an order to follow each of the four diet plans for five weeks each, with a break of one week in between each new plan. Blood pressure was taken at the beginning and end of each diet period. The BOLD+ diet was more effective at reducing blood pressure when compared to the other diets tested.

“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 small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

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References: M A Roussell, A M Hill, T L Gaugler, S G West, J S Ulbrecht, J P Vanden Heuvel, P J Gillies, P M Kris-Etherton. Effects of a DASH-like diet containing lean beef on vascular health. Journal of Human Hypertension, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/jhh.2014.34; Penn State. “Eating lean beef daily can help lower blood pressure, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140717142049.htm>.

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understandcancerin60minutes

Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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