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Producers Weigh in on Dairy Guidelines for Americans
USAgNet - 07/12/2019

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, told members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in oral comments that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows that healthy diets including red meat, like beef, support optimal health and well-being.

"Beef is a high-quality protein powerhouse providing a unique combination of bioavailable iron, zinc and B vitamins essential to building and maintaining strength from infancy through our later years," said Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, NCBA Executive Director of Nutrition Research.

NCBA also emphasized to the committee that beef is rich in nostalgia and nutrients and has been enjoyed for centuries and continues to be part of most Americans' diets, traditions and celebrations. Beef nourishes bodies and minds and optimizes health at every stage of life. As more Americans are overweight, it is important to make every calorie count. Calorie for calorie, no other protein food delivers the same package of 10 essential nutrients. Today's beef is leaner than ever before and Americans' consumption of calories and fat from beef have declined.

"As a registered dietitian, nutrition scientist and advocate for healthy eating, it's important for people who include beef as a source of nourishment and satisfaction in a healthy diet to know that the best science available today continues to reinforce this is a smart approach for a healthy lifestyle," McNeill said.

Jointly updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the DGAs serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. During this process, a group of experts in the fields of nutrition and health are appointed to the DGAC. These individuals are tasked with reviewing the latest nutrition research to make science-based recommendations to HHS and USDA on the food and beverages that promote a healthy, balanced diet.

Providing oral comment is an important part of the DGA process. On behalf of beef farmers and ranchers, NCBA, a contractor to the to the Beef Checkoff, an industry research and promotion program that utilized scientific evidence as the basis for its information, urges the DGAC to systematically review the totality of scientific evidence, using best practices that are thorough, transparent and relevant when making decisions that will ultimately result in nutritional policies that can measurably improve the health of Americans.

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