Beef is a vital source of protein, selenium (an antioxidant), iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. However it is as well one of the major sources of fat in our diet—imagine all those quarter pounders, steaks, meatballs, all-beef hot dogs and red-meat chillies, we eat in a year. Yikes.

Fortunately, ground beef is sold in a number of ways in the butcher kiosk at the grocery store providing a few different lean-to-fat ratios. If you desire the nutritional benefits of beef, but with less fat and cholesterol, you should choose for lean and extra-lean hamburger meat. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you are consuming low-fat food by going “lean.” You’re not; you’re just decreasing the fat intake.

What Lean Means

Get lean ground beef, which, as of the USDA, is recognized, contain no more than 10 per cent fat, which means it is 90 per cent lean, Correct? Yes, but there’s a catch: the percentage refers to the product weight, not the percentage of calories from fat. This might be clear to others, but a lot of people don’t realize this, or at least don’t think it through.

extra lean ground beef packaged

But to put it into perspective, four ounces of ground meat (which is 80 per cent lean and 20 per cent fat), is most normally used in meatballs, chilli, and hamburgers, contain 287 calories and 22.6 g fat, which comprise 71 per cent of its calories.

What This Means to Us

The problem is, does this matter? The entire number of calories in that four-ounce extra lean ground beef portion isn’t all that bad, especially if you consume about 2,000 calories a day. Even though there is no set suggested dietary allowance for fat, it represents about 30 per cent of optional consumption for individuals on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. However, put that four ounces of meat in a bun with bacon, cheese, and a mayo dressing, then add in some fries, and the calories, along with the fat content, will soon add up, giving you over 1,000 calories for just that meal.

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If you wish to sink your teeth into a juicy but extra lean ground beef hamburger, go ahead, but you might wish to consider lower-fat toppings such as red onions slices, peppers, tomatoes, mustard, and lettuce.

What Else Can You Get From Extra Lean Ground Beef?


Consuming lean meat Increase your intake of iron, a nutrient vital for healthy red blood cells. Your red blood cells need hemoglobin — an iron-containing pigment protein that provides the blood with its colour — to carry oxygen. If you don’t get sufficient iron from your diet, you might develop anemia due to a failure to create efficient red blood cells. Iron, in addition, makes up a component of myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen in your muscle cells.

A 3-ounce serving of 95 per cent lean ground beef or eye of round roast beef contains 2 milligrams of iron — 11 per cent of the suggested daily iron consumption for women and 25 per cent of the RDA for men, as per the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Extra lean ground beef with spices

Vitamin B-12

The vitamin B-12 that is in extra lean ground beef also helps in red blood cell creation, playing a vital role in hemoglobin synthesis. It too aids other tissues, facilitating the body’s mental tasks, and assisting in fat and protein metabolism. A 3-ounce portion of eye of round roast beef provides 1.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, or 28 per cent of your suggested daily consumption, as per the Office of Dietary Supplements. For a better source of B-12, go for 95 per cent lean ground beef, which gives 2.2 micrograms of vitamin B-12 per 3-ounce serving, or 92 per cent of the RDA.

Coenzyme Q10

Look for extra lean ground beef as a source of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant. Coenzyme Q10 guards your cells against damaging free radicals produced as a side-effect of your metabolism and ecological toxins, aiding to avoid damage to your cell membranes, proteins and DNA. It also helps your metabolism — your mitochondria, the “batteries” that creates energy that power your cells, needs coenzyme Q10 to function. While your body also produces coenzyme Q10 to meet its requirements, Including lean beef to your diet increase your intake of the nutrient.

Considerations and Serving Tips

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Check other healthy seasonings to add flavour to your beef with no added saturated fat or salt. Soak a flank steak in olive oil and garlic for a flavorful meal, or season a shoulder steak with lemon juice and cracked pepper. Roast, broil or grill your beef. Pass up frying — it may to some extent remove coenzyme Q10, according to Linus Pauling Institute. Although lean beef provides helpful nutrients, ensure you consume it moderately, as recommended by the Harvard School of Public Health.