CENTENNIAL, COLORADO - "The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released today, reinforce the important role good nutrition plays in building healthy lives. The good news is the nutrient-rich beef already enjoyed by more than 95 percent of Americans will help them meet these new Guidelines. A 3 oz serving of lean beef provides 10 nutrients your body needs such as protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins for an average of 154 calories. In fact, it takes two to three times more calories to get the same amount of protein from many plant-based alternatives than from lean beef.

A recommendation to add seafood to your diet doesn't mean you should cut back on lean beef because they both offer unique yet equally important nutrients. Beef is a leading source of several nutrients including protein, iron and zinc while fatty fish, like salmon, are among top sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee noted the Meat & Beans Group is the only food group Americans currently eat within the MyPyramid recommendations. The surprising fact is that Americans, on average, eat 1.7 oz of beef every day, well within the 5-7 oz recommended from this Group for a healthy diet. Americans can feel good about choosing lean beef because the science shows beef's high-quality protein and essential nutrients make good diets better - improving overall nutrient intake and diet quality, and contributing to positive health outcomes like weight management.

Because of the commitment of America's cattle farmers and ranchers, many popular beef cuts meet government guidelines for lean, including favorites such as Sirloin, Flank steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95 percent lean Ground Beef. With more than 29 lean beef cuts, it's easy to build great-tasting and healthy meals that include America's favorite protein - beef - with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Given today's focus on obesity, the Committee uncovered a striking finding: Over the last four decades, Americans have consumed nearly 200 calories more each day from flour and cereal products while calories from meat, eggs and nuts have remained virtually unchanged.

At a time when calories really matter, lean beef is a solution that satisfies our appetites and provides more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods."

Please visit BeefNutrition.org and BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com for additional information, tools, fact sheets and recipes to help build healthy diets with lean beef.

SOURCE: The Beef Checkoff