Article from Wisconsin Beef Council.

Did you know lean beef is a part of a heart-healthy lifestyle?

Eating for a healthy heart and enjoying one of your favorite foods—these two things don’t have to be at odds with one another! Recent research shows that eating lean beef as part of a heart healthy dietary pattern can help maintain normal cholesterol levels.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1, researchers from Penn State University found that people who participated in the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) Study maintained healthy blood cholesterol levels while consuming a dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans, with lean beef as the primary protein source. The BOLD diets contained 4-5.4 oz (weights before cooking) of lean beef daily, while providing less than 7% of calories from saturated fat, consistent with current fat intake targets. The BOLD study is one of the latest additions to the body of evidence that supports including lean beef in a heart-healthy diet. 

Additional research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that following a Mediterranean-style healthy dietary pattern that incorporates fresh lean beef can reduce heart disease risk factors, including total and LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure. By incorporating 7-18 ounces of cooked, fresh, lean red meat per week, individuals can improve their cardiometabolic disease risk factor profile including high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and diabetes risk.

The Beef WISE study, conducted by the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, also demonstrates that eating lean beef four or more times a week, as part of a healthy, higher-protein diet, combined with physical activity, can help people lose weight and fat mass while maintaining lean muscle, and supporting heart health.This study shows that lean beef is just as effective as other protein choices to improve weight loss potential, body composition and support heart health, when included as part of a healthy, higher-protein diet. 

This research adds to the growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that lean beef can be part of healthy eating patterns to improve cardiovascular health. In fact, over 20 studies of lean beef in healthy dietary patterns support a role for lean beef in a heart healthy diet and lifestyle.

Beef as Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Incorporate lean beef into your lifestyle by following these simple tips:

  • Choose lean beef at the meat counter. There are more than 36 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean. A tip for finding lean beef cuts is to look for the terms “round” or “loin” (e.g.: Sirloin, Tenderloin, or Eye of Round).
  • Keep portion size in mind. A sensible and satisfying 3 ounces cooked serving of lean beef is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • Trim away any visible fat from cooked beef before serving.
  • When it comes to lowering cholesterol, small steps can get big results. The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.  When choosing meats, choose the leanest cuts available, trim visible fat and prepare them in healthy and delicious ways like broiling, roasting or poaching and pairing them with fiber rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Heart-Healthy Recipes

AHA Logo

Enjoying lean beef in a heart-healthy lifestyle is easier than you think with these recipes featuring lean beef, fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains. These recipes are all certified by the American Heart Association®.

Check out the Heart-Check certified recipes by the American Heart Association

Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes, links, information reached through links, or scientific studies unless expressly stated.

A plate with a beef breakfast roll, which has a bread base topped with scrambled eggs and homemade beef sausage.

Easy Beef Breakfast Rolls

Wisconsin Beef Council
Homemade Ground Beef Breakfast Sausage is mixed with eggs and cheese inside soft doughy rolls and baked to perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 44 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 410 kcal


  • 1 pound Ground Beef 93% lean or leaner
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 large eggs scrambled
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Fillings optional: Chopped onions, salsa, chopped cooked vegetables
  • 12 balls of frozen bread dough thawed


Prepare Basic Country Beef Breakfast Sausage

  • Combine 1 pound Ground Beef (93% or leaner), 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon garlic power, 1 teaspoon onion power, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add sausage mixture; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles, stirring occasionally. Remove from Skillet

Prepare Breakfast Rolls

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Combine sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese and water. Stir in optional filling ingredients, if desired. Roll out one dough ball at a time on unfloured surface to 4 to 5-inch diameter circle. Place approximately 1/4 cup of sausage filling into the center of the circle. Gather edges of dough and pinch together. With hands roll dough back into ball. Place seam-side down into a muffin cup.
  • Bake 24 to 27 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.


Cook’s Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.


Calories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 32gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 617mgIron: 4.9mg
Keyword beef, sausage
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