Where’s the Beef?

I featured McDonald’s new commercials a few weeks ago, but the new Wendy’s restaurant commercials are stirring up the pot!

We’ve all heard of Wendy’s TV commercial of Clara Peller’s line, “Where’s the Beef?” that was made popular in 1984.

Well, Wendy’s has had a newer version of this slogan in a commercial out for a couple of months, with a tall, dark and handsome young man wearing the saying on his t-shirt.

And he’s a celebrity. Modern Family actor, Reid  Ewing is in a thrift store and finds a Where’s The Beef? t-shirt.

After leaving the thrift store, Reid puts on the t-shirt and walks down the sidewalk while random passersby notice his t-shirt and says “Where’s The Beef?”.  Then it shows him standing outside of a Wendy’s Restaurant where there is a big red sign on the building that says “Here’s The Beef!”.

imageBut some people are taking this idea of resurrecting the line out of context. Wendy’s has had some negative media stating, “…in an era of obesity, is quantity still in question?”, and, “…portion sizes are more out of control than ever.”

But for the beef industry, Wendy’s is doing us a favor in giving us an opportunity to share about the 29 cuts of lean beef, beef in a heart-healthy diet, and BOLD or “Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet”, and all around benefits of beef.

Beef was also the #1 food that you don’t have to give up this year, according to WebMD Expert David Grotto, RD, LDN, in his article “Five Foods You Don’t Have to Give Up This Year“.

Here is what he has to say about beef:

1. Beef. Heart disease continues to be the number one killer of both men and women in this country and controlling cholesterol levels is thought to be the most effective way of reducing the risk of heart disease. Meat is usually the first diet element to get the old “heave-ho” when it comes to cholesterol management. However, a study that appeared this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that including lean beef, such as sirloin, in a heart-healthy diet was as effective for lowering cholesterol as traditional heart-healthy diets.

In this study, two heart-healthy diets, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, that contained up to 1 ounce of beef per day and a modified DASH diet containing upwards of 5.4 ounces of beef per day (renamed BOLD for Beef in a Optimal lean Diet) were randomly assigned to participants. All diets were equally effective in reducing LDL cholesterol (about a 10% reduction). “What’s so unique about this study is that though all of the diets provided less than 7% saturated fat, this was the first time that lean beef was included and found to be as effective for lowering LDL cholesterol,” says distinguished professor Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD from Penn State University. “The take home message is that lean beef can be included in a heart healthy diet and, best yet, there are twenty-nine cuts of beef that fall into the ‘lean’ category.” You can find those lean cuts listed at www.beefnutrition.org.

While I know moderation is the key to a healthy diet in all aspects of what we consume, if you get asked, “Where’s the Beef?”, you can answer, in our healthy diets. The proof is in the pudding research.

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