By Scarlett Hagins On January 12, 2018
High-protein diets have become more and more popular in recent years. But, there is often guidance telling people to limit red meat as a protein source. Few studies have compared different high-quality protein sources to understand their effectiveness in a weight loss or maintenance diet. Until recently. Dr. Drew Sayer, PhD, and his colleagues at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center sought to change that.
Enter the Beef WISE (Weight Improvement, Satisfaction and Energy) Study.
About the BeefWISE Study
The Beef WISE Study, conducted by Sayer and his team with a research grant from the Beef Checkoff, included 99 overweight or obese adults in a comprehensive weight management program called State of Slim. For 16 weeks, they emphasized behavioral strategies to make lasting healthful changes in diet and physical activity.
In addition to participating in regular exercise, study participants were separated into two groups that followed the higher-protein diet. One group consumed four or more servings of lean beef each week, while the other was restricted from eating red meat.
Subjects in both groups lost equal amounts of body weight and fat mass while preserving muscle. In fact, 90% to 95% of the weight lost came from fat, not muscle. Pretty impressive! According to Dr. Sayer, this shows lean beef doesn’t have to be restricted in a higher-protein diet and can be just as effective as other protein choices in supporting healthy weight loss and leaner bodies.
In addition to weight loss, participants also showed improvements in their total LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, indicating lean beef did not negatively affect their heart health.
While this study shows that beef is as effective as other proteins for weight loss and maintaining heart health, it’s also an important source of nutrients, including zinc, iron and B-vitamins. This means you get more bang for your proverbial buck when you make lean beef a part of your healthy diet.