Cholesterol-lowering effect of a low-fat diet containing lean beef is reversed by the addition of beef fat

Kerin O'Dea, Kathy Traianedes, Kerryn Chisholm, Helen Leyden, Andrew J. Sinclair

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51 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to differentiate between lean beef and beef fat as risk factors for elevated plasma cholesterol concentrations. Ten healthy weight-stable subjects (five men, five women) participated. Energy intake was kept constant over the 5-wk study. Total cholesterol concentrations fell significantly within 1 wk of commencing the very-low fat (9%) energy from fat) lean-beef (500 g/d) diet (5.91 ± 0.47 to 4.72 ± 0.42 mmol/L, p < 0.001) and rose as beef drippings were added in a stepwise manner in weeks 4 and 5 (5.45 ± 0.56 mmol/L in week 5). The changes in total cholesterol concentrations were due almost entirely to changes in the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, with minimal effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. These results indicate that it is the beef fat, not lean beef itself, that is associated with elevations in cholesterol concentrations and that lean beef can be included in cholesterol-lowering diets provided it is free of all visible fat and the saturated fatty acid content of the diet is low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Beef fat
  • HDL cholesterol
  • Lean beef
  • Plasma cholesterol

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