Extra lean ground beef, which is at least 96% lean, 4% fat, is now certified by the American Heart Association to display its recognized and respected Heart-Check mark, the beef checkoff said Tuesday.
Retailers now can help shoppers identify eight different extra lean beef items as options for a healthy diet.
The extra lean beef cuts that meet the American Heart Association's requirements for heart-healthy foods as part of an overall healthy dietary pattern, and are certified to display the Heart-Check mark, include:
• Extra Lean Ground Beef (96% lean, 4% fat)
• Bottom Round Steak (USDA Select grade)
• Sirloin Tip Steak (USDA Select grade)
• Top Sirloin Petite Roast, Boneless (USDA Select grade)
• Top Sirloin Strips (USDA Select grade)
• Top Sirloin Filet (USDA Select grade)
• Top Sirloin Kabob (USDA Select grade)
• Top Sirloin Steak, Boneless, Center Cut (USDA Select grade)
Jo Stanko, vice chair of the Checkoff's nutrition and health subcommittee, said the certification empowers customers to feel good about including beef in their diets.
"Beef farmers and ranchers like myself share a common goal: to help consumers make shopping decisions to fit their needs and lifestyles by educating them about the health benefits of their food. To this end we will continue to support valid science to show consumers how extra lean beef is part of a healthy diet," Stanko said.
Before putting its Heart-Check mark on any food, the American Heart Association evaluates it against nutrition requirements based on sound science regarding healthy dietary recommendations, food categories, specific product ingredients and nutrient values, the checkoff said.
Multiple retailers with hundreds of stores across the U.S. currently display the Heart-Check mark on certified beef items in the meat case. Retailers and processors can work with the Beef Checkoff Program to receive a discount on the certification fee for the American Heart Association Food Certification Program.
Resources such as on-pack labels, posters and recipes are available for retailers to use in store and in shopper communications to promote the certified beef cuts.
Learn more about participating in the American Heart Association Food Certification Program online.