Good news for America's ranchers: nutrition scientists at Penn State say eating lean beef can reduce health risks including high blood pressure and heart disease.

While researchers say the types and quantities of beef consumed determines whether eating beef is good or bad for you, the recent studies mark the first time since the 1970s that health researchers agree beef consumption can promote good health.

"This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," reports Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State. "This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease."

The American Heart Association (AHA) is currently recommending the DASH eating plan, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

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According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.