Tag Archives: heart-healthy

Maybe beef’s not so bad after all …

FoodFacts does its best to keep our community members in the know regarding news in nutrition. Sometimes the latest news puts to rest some long held beliefs about the foods we eat. This latest information does just that.

For years now, we’ve believed that we should keep our consumption of beef low. It hasn’t been considered the best source of protein, even for nutritionally conscious folks who follow a healthy diet plan, based on its fat content. A new study published in the January 2012 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is actually taking a new stance on the subject matter. The study shows that, in fact, beef can play a role in a cholesterol-lowering diet. Every day consumption of lean beef can be effective in lowering total and “bad” cholesterol.

Conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, the study evaluated adults with moderately elevated cholesterol levels. It measured the impact of diets including varying amounts of lean beef on total and LDL cholesterol levels. Those involved in the study experienced a 10% decrease in bad cholesterol from the beginning of the study while consuming diets including between 4 and 5.4 oz of lean beef daily. The remainder of the diet was rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. It was concluded that diets including lean beef are as effective in improving heart health risk factors as other diets which emphasize plant proteins.

It is important to note that beef consumed in this study were lean cuts and 95% lean ground beef. It is also important to note the amount of beef consumed daily during the study. While this is all great news for beef lovers everywhere, we all need to be conscious of the cut, fat content and portion size of beef in order to consider it a healthy option in our diets. The good news is that the most popular cuts of beef (top sirloin steak, tenderloin, t-bone steak) do, in fact, meet government guidelines for lean beef. A 3 oz. serving of lean beef contains about 150 calories and in addition, is a great source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin and selenium.

FoodFacts is happy to share this news with you and to remind all of us that a healthy lifestyle includes real foods, in combination with one another and in moderation. It’s always a better plan than anything that comes from a box.

Heart-Healthy Seaweed

Foodfacts.com likes to stay current with the latest research pertaining to foods and nutrition. We think our followers would be interested in this article surrounding research that shows seaweed has heart-healthy benefits. Check it out!

ScienceDaily (July 21, 2011) — In an article that may bring smiles to the faces of vegetarians who consume no dairy products and vegans, who consume no animal-based foods, scientists have identified seaweed as a rich new potential source of heart-healthy food ingredients. Seaweed and other “macroalgae” could rival milk products as sources of these so-called “bioactive peptides,” they conclude in an article in ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Maria Hayes and colleagues Ciarán Fitzgerald, Eimear Gallagher and Deniz Tasdemir note increased interest in using bioactive peptides, now obtained mainly from milk products, as ingredients in so-called functional foods. Those foods not only provide nutrition, but have a medicine-like effect in treating or preventing certain diseases. Seaweeds are a rich but neglected alternative source, they state, noting that people in East Asian and other cultures have eaten seaweed for centuries: Nori in Japan, dulse in coastal Europe, and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine.

Their review of almost 100 scientific studies concluded that that some seaweed proteins work just like the bioactive peptides in milk products to reduce blood pressure almost like the popular ACE inhibitor drugs. “The variety of macroalga species and the environments in which they are found and their ease of cultivation make macroalgae a relatively untapped source of new bioactive compounds, and more efforts are needed to fully exploit their potential for use and delivery to consumers in food products,” Hayes and her colleagues conclude.