Objective: Conflicting recommendations are prevalent regarding the appropriateness of red meat versus white meat consumption for individuals aiming to reduce body weight and cardiovascular disease risk.
Methods: We examined changes in body weight and lipid profiles in a 12-wk, randomized, controlled trial, in which overweight women followed a hypocaloric diet with lean beef or chicken as the primary protein source, while participating in a fitness walking program. Sedentary non-smoking females (n = 61), age 43.4 +/- 7.8 years, with body mass indexes of 32.1 +/- 3.4 kg/m(2) (means +/- standard deviation), followed calculated-deficit diets (-500 kcal daily) and were randomly assigned to the beef-consumption or chicken-consumption dietary group, while following a fitness walking program. Body weight, body composition (by hydrodensitometry), and blood lipid profiles were measured at baseline and 12 wk.
Results: Weight loss was significant within (P < 0.05) but similar between (P > 0.05) the beef-consumption (5.6 +/- 0.6 kg, mean +/- standard error) and the chicken-consumption (6.0 +/- 0.5 kg) groups. Both groups showed significant reductions in body fat percentage (P < 0.05) and total (P < 0.05) and low-density lipoprotein (P < 0.05) cholesterol, with no significant differences between groups. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol did not change significantly in either group.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrated that weight loss and improved lipid profile can be accomplished through diet and exercise, whether the dietary protein source is lean beef or chicken.