Beef is natural, delicious and nutritious. Beef offers 10 essential nutrients to support healthy lifestyles and help families thrive.
Families need nutrition to thrive. One 3 oz serving of beef offers 10 essential nutrients including protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins.
Beef is part of a satisfying heart-healthy lifestyle. Evidence shows lean beef in a heart-healthy diet can help support heart health.
Taste, nutrition and high-quality protein. Beef has it all. One serving of beef provides almost half of your Daily Value of protein.
Beyond the special memories around the table and the tasty delights we experience across a lifetime, the foods we eat provide our bodies with fuel to thrive and grow.
We all know that beef tastes great, but did you know how good it is for you too? A 3 oz. serving of lean beef provides 10 essential nutrients in around 150 calories, less than 10 grams of total fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol.
Check out some answers to your most pressing questions when it comes to incorporating beef into a heart-healthy lifestyle.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages consumers to choose “a variety of protein foods” which includes lean meats and poultry.1 Lean beef is a great option as it delivers more than 10 essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, choline, iron and riboflavin.2
According to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), a cut of cooked fresh meat is considered “lean” when it contains less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100 grams (3½ oz) and per RACC (Reference Amount Customarily Consumed), which is 85 grams (3 oz)1
Thanks to enhancements in cattle breeding and feeding, as well as improved trimming practices, more than 60 percent of whole muscle cuts found in the supermarket are considered lean when cooked with visible fat trimmed. In fact, the number of beef cuts that qualify as “lean” has increased sixfold from 1989 to 2013.4 This is because of a multi-decade, coordinated effort by cattle farmers, ranchers and processors to meet the growing consumer demand for lean beef. It starts with careful breeding and includes ongoing monitoring and improving the feed type and amounts. Providing cattle exercise by allowing them to graze in pastures helps enhance muscle and encourage leanness, as well.
Contrary to popular belief, all cattle spend a majority of their lives eating grass on pastures. Some cattle may be “grass-finished,” meaning the cattle spend their entire lives on a pasture, whereas other cattle are grain-finished, moving from the pasture to a feedlot. And while grass-finished cattle tend to be leaner,5 there are a number of variables that contribute to leanness, including breed, age, grade and cut.6
Bringing lean meat to the marketplace involves a coordinated effort among the farmers and ranchers who raise the cattle, the nutritionists overseeing the diet fed to the cows, the processors who cut and trim the meat before it’s ready to be sold at retail, and the butchers who may further cut the meat and place it into consumer-ready packaging. They do all of this to provide nutritious, safe and delicious beef for people to eat and enjoy.
There are a variety of tools and resources to learn more about lean beef and to share with consumers:
Research Paper: Impact of grass/forage feeding versus grain finishing on beef nutrients and sensory quality: The U.S. experience, Meat Science 2014