Unfortunately, no one will believe this because it is coming from the beef industry, but it is correct [comments in brackets are mine]:
The Misunderstood Fatty Acid Profile of Beef
Consumer nutrition education, while intended to stress moderation, has generated a fat phobia. As a result, consumers have forgotten the benefits of beef, associating it only with what they believe is a nutrient to avoid - fat. Utilizing the latest technology, the beef industry has responded to consumer concerns about fat and is now producing a product that is leaner and contains less visible fat than it did 10 years ago.
Today, there are seven cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean designation as outlined in the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. The Act defines lean cuts of meat as those with less than 10 grams total fat, 4.5 grams or less saturated fatty acids, and less than 95 milligrams cholesterol per serving.
A common misperception is that the majority of fats in beef are saturated fatty acids. In fact, nearly 50 percent of the fat in beef is monounsaturated fatty acids1, which are championed by health experts for their positive coronary heart risk-reduction capabilities.2 [monounsaturated fats are primarily found in olive oil and avocado and half the fat in beef is like olive oil]
A third of the saturated fatty acids in beef is stearic acid - a unique fatty acid that has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels.3,4,5,6 When taken into account, the amount of saturated fatty acids in beef is comparable to that of chicken and fish.1 [this is true--studies have shown that stearic acid doesn't raise cholesterol--if you subtract the stearic acid portion from the saturated fat portion of the fats in beef, you get the same amount of saturated fat that is in chicken and fish]
To reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer, experts say choose lean cuts of meat. Lean cuts of meat have less than 10 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fatty acids.
The seven cuts of beef that meet the government's requirements for lean are eye round, top round, round tip, top sirloin, bottom round, top loin and tenderloin. These cuts have, on average, 6.2 grams of total fat and 2.3 grams of saturated fatty acids per 3-ounce serving.1
Research published in the June 28, 1999 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrates that Americans can consume 6 ounces of lean red meat, five or more days a week as part of a cholesterol lowering diet and positively impact blood cholesterol levels.7 [this is true--the actual abstract follows]
The study demonstrated that both red and white meat produce the same favorable changes in blood cholesterol levels. This reduction could amount to approximately a 10 percent coronary heart disease risk reduction.8
Arch Intern Med 1999 Jun 28;159(12):1331-8
Comparison of the effects of lean red meat vs lean white meat on serum lipid levels among free-living persons with hypercholesterolemia: a long-term, randomized clinical trial.
Davidson MH, Hunninghake D, Maki KC, Kwiterovich PO Jr, Kafonek S.
Chicago Center for Clinical Research, IL 60610, USA. mdavidson~protocare.com
BACKGROUND: Patients with hypercholesterolemia are often counseled to limit or eliminate intake of red meats, despite evidence that lean red meats (LRMs) are not hypercholesterolemic in comparison with lean white meats (LWMs).
The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects on serum lipids of incorporating LRM (beef, veal, and pork) vs LWM (poultry and fish) into a National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step I diet in free-living individuals with hypercholesterolemia. METHODS: Subjects included 191 men and women with a serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level of 3.37 to 4.92 mmol/L (130-190 mg/dL) and triglyceride level less than 3.96 mmol/L (350 mg/dL). After a 4-week baseline phase, subjects were counseled to follow an NCEP Step I diet including 170 g (6 oz) of lean meat per day, 5 to 7 days per week. Based on random assignment, subjects were instructed to consume at least 80% of their meat in the form of LRM or LWM. Fasting serum lipid levels were assessed 4, 12, 20, 28, and 36 weeks after randomization. RESULTS: After randomization, mean concentrations of total cholesterol (6.09 mmol/L [235.7 mg/dL] vs 6.08 mmol/L [235.2 mg/dL]) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.99 mmol/L [154.1 mg/dL] vs4.01 mmol/L [154.7 mg/dL]) were nearly identical in the LRM and LWM groups (1%-3% below baseline) during treatment. Mean triglyceride levels remained similar to baseline values and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations increased by approximately 2% in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The NCEP Step I diets containing primarily LRM or LWM produced similar reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevations in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which were maintained throughout 36 weeks of treatment.
Journals usually allow other researchers to comment on the findings. The only comeback for this study was:
Arch Intern Med 2000 Feb 14;160(3):395-6
The lipid-lowering effect of lean meat diets falls far short of that of vegetarian diets.