Over the last 13 months, NCBA, a contractor to the beef checkoff, has submitted 21 sets of public comments and more than 100 research studies in support of beef’s role in a healthy diet to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee (DGAC). Included in the comments were numerous gold-standard randomized control trial research studies reinforcing beef as an important source of high-quality protein for all ages. This includes checkoff-funded research demonstrating how lean beef can be the protein of choice in many healthy dietary patterns, like the popular DASH and Mediterranean diets. Research also was submitted showing the benefits of low-carbohydrate and higher-protein diets, such as the BeefWise study that found lean beef, as part of a healthy and higher-protein diet, can help people lose weight while maintaining muscle mass and heart health.
Additionally, recognizing that the forthcoming dietary guidelines will be the first to include recommendations for infants and young children from birth to 24 months of age, NCBA submitted comments about the critical role of beef in growth and development. Beef is especially important as a high-quality source of iron for pregnant woman, infants, adolescent girls and women of childbearing age.
“Beef is part of a healthy diet for most Americans, and a large body of research supports the flexibility to choose lean beef more often as an important source of high-quality protein and nutrients during all life stages, from birth to older adults,” said NCBA Executive Director of Nutrition Research Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., R.D. “We believe it’s imperative that this research is reviewed and considered as part of the DGA process.”
The final DGAC report will be released in mid-July. On August 11, USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will hear oral comments from the public on the report. NCBA will request an opportunity to again provide oral comments. The final dietary guidelines are expected to be released at the end of the year.