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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368693

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Impact of beef consumption on saturated fat intake in the United States adult population: Insights from modeling the influences of bovine genetics and nutrition

item Casperson, Shanon
item CONRAD, ZACH - Former ARS Employee
item RAATZ, SUSAN - Former ARS Employee
item Derner, Justin
item Roemmich, James
item Jahns, Lisa
item Picklo, Matthew

Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2020
Publication Date: 6/27/2020
Citation: Casperson, S.L., Conrad, Z., Raatz, S., Derner, J.D., Roemmich, J.N., Jahns, L.A., Picklo, M.J. 2020. Impact of beef consumption on saturated fat intake in the United States adult population: Insights from modeling the influences of bovine genetics and nutrition. Meat Science. 169. Article e108225.

Interpretive Summary: Beef is a major source of protein in the American diet. As such, it is important to understand how advances in beef production influence population-level dietary changes without imposing changes in consumer eating habits. Cattle breed and finishing rations can produce beef that has a reduced saturated fat content. We used modeling methods to determine how decreases in the saturated fat content of beef can influence the saturated fat intake of the U.S. adult population. We found that the breed of cattle and finishing rations that result in a reduced amount of saturated fat in the meat can influence the amount saturated fat consumed by Americans. The modified fat composition from the American Wagyu and cattle fed a diet supplemented with 15% flaxseed produced the greatest decrease in Americans’ saturated fat intake. Even with the relatively small contribution of beef fat to total saturated fat intake, genetic- and management-practice-based alterations in the fat composition of beef can make a substantial impact on saturated fat intake in the U.S. adult population. However, this alone does not reduce saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories per day as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A focus on other dietary modifications, such as grain dishes and dairy dishes, are needed to reduce American’s saturated fat intake to achieve the recommended guidelines.

Technical Abstract: Background: Beef is a major source of dietary protein in the American diet. Genetics (e.g., breed) and management practices (e.g., finishing rations) of beef cattle influence meat quality and nutritional value by altering the fatty acid (FA) content, specifically decreasing saturated fatty acids (SFA). As such, insights are needed to determine how these alterations influence SFA intake. Objective: To determine the impact of bovine genetics and management practices that decrease the SFA content of beef on population-level total SFA intake (%en). Methods: Using reported intakes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2016, insights were obtained from replacing the current FA profile of beef with that from two different breeds (the predominant breed in the U.S. – Angus, and the breed with the lowest SFA content - Wagyu) and three management practices (pasture-raised, 15% flaxseed supplementation, 35% wet distiller’s grain (WDG) supplementation). Four replacement levels (10%, 25%, 50%, 100%) were used in dietary modeling to estimate the contribution of each beef type to total SFA intake in the U.S. adult population. Results: Overall, men consumed more beef fat than women (12.0g (11.6-12.4g, 95%CI) and 6.6g (6.4-6.9g, 95%CI), respectively). Total SFA intake from beef was 2.1%en (2.1-2.2%en, 95%CI) in men and 1.6%en (1.6-1.7%en, 95%CI) in women. For each modeled beef FA profile, total SFA intake decreased with each increase in replacement level. At 100% replacement, total SFA intake was reduced by 0.5% (Angus), 2.8% (Wagyu), 1.9% (pasture), 4.1% (flaxseed), 2.6% (WDG). Conclusion: Insights from modeling the influence of bovine genetics and management practices suggest that advances in reducing the SFA content of beef can substantially decrease total SFA intake, although reductions in other dietary sources of SFA are needed to meet recommended intakes.