In mid-June, 13 food and nutrition researchers and experts released the draft Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, which will serve as the basis for the new government-issued nutrition guidelines due out later this year. The draft DGAC Report recognizes that Americans are overweight yet undernourished; and therefore, emphasizes the need to reduce calories, solid fat, added sugars, refined grains and sodium, and to choose nutrient-dense foods in the American diet. To achieve a healthier diet, the Committee recommends that the public "shift food intake patterns to a plant-based diet" and "consume only moderate amounts of lean meat, poultry and eggs."
Lean beef is a nutrient-rich food, providing, on average, only 154 calories per 3-ounce cooked serving and is a good-to-excellent source of 10 essential nutrients. There is a need and an opportunity for the beef industry to take an active role in educating consumers, as well as food, nutrition and culinary thought-leaders, about lean beef’s nutrient advantage in a diet that is also balanced with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
The conclusion? In order for the Dietary Guidelines to be effective, consumers must follow them. Given current consumption patterns, it is clear Americans need specific, positive guidance on how to eat from each food group – including how to enjoy lean beef as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Americans have a passion for beef and they place high value in lean beef. This provides the beef industry tremendous opportunity to continue to promote the role of lean beef in a healthy optimal diet and to discuss the nutrient advantage that beef provides.
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