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Is Beef Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening?

Is Beef Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening

This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Choosing the right protein sources when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about beef, is it good for weight loss or fattening?

Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle, often cow meat. This meat is one of the most popular meats around the world. There is a wide variety of ways to eat and recipes with beef.

When talking about the nutritional values of meat you have to keep in mind that different parts of different animals have different values. And not only that, meat from the same area from an animal in the same species can have different nutrition contents because of what they ate and genetic differences (1, 2).

That being said by looking at nutrition values examples you can get a general view of how healthy a certain kind of meat is. This article will take a look at ground beef (3).

There are better meats for weight loss but like most protein sources, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more beef if they stick to healthy recipes. Find out just how good beef is for weight loss and what some healthy ways are to implement this food in your diet.

Micronutrients in beef

The first thing to look at are the micronutrients in beef.

Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.

100 grams of cooked ground beef provides you with approximately (3):

  • Vitamin B12: 48% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 41% of the DV
  • Selenium: 31% of the DV
  • Niacin: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the DV
  • Iron: 13% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 8% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV

And a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. The amount of vitamins and minerals in 100 grams of ground beef is very great.

If you have trouble eating enough vitamins and minerals, beef can benefit you a lot.

Micronutrients in ground beef

Protein in beef for weight loss

Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.

Cooked ground beef contains about 25.4 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (4).

That is a good amount of protein per 100 grams compared to many other protein sources.

Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.

Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big plus for protein and beef for weight loss.

Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.

Will beef help you lose weight?

To know whether or not you can eat beef while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in beef.

Cooked ground beef contains around 273 calories per 100 grams. All of these calories come from fat and protein.

This makes beef a great option for low carb diets like the keto diet. Keep in mind that too much protein can also kick you out of ketosis.

The amount of calories in beef is medium to high compared to a lot of other meats for weight loss. Most vegetables and fruits are lower in calories.

Even with that in mind beef can be a good food option when trying to lose weight. It will help you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This will help you avoid higher-calorie foods. On top of that protein is such a valuable nutrient for weight loss.

In theory, you can overdo it with beef in terms of calories, in that case beef could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point.

beef steak on plate for weight loss

Different ways to eat beef for weight loss

You can find beef in many different shapes, sizes, and recipes. Some are better than others for weight loss.

The best beef recipes include this meat in a healthy way with healthy ingredients. That means preferably boiling but also baking and pan-frying. Most vegetables are great for weight loss so something like beef with broccoli, beef stew, or beef in soup would be great.

If you are looking to lose weight something like beef jerky without added sugar would be good but slightly less so. You generally want to avoid beef jerky with added sugar when trying to lose weight.

Beef vs other popular meats for weight loss

You now know how good beef is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other meats? Find out how good beef is for weight loss vs pork, lamb, and chicken.

Again keep in mind that the actual nutritional values of the meat you buy vary from animal to animal. These examples are great to get a general view of the differences but they are likely not exactly the same as the actual meat you buy.

Beef vs pork

The first comparison is between beef and pork. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that ground pork contains slightly less. Ground beef contains around 273 calories per 100 grams vs the 265 calories per 100 grams of ground pork (5).

Ground pork contains around 23.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, beef 25.4 grams. These 2 foods are similar when it comes to the amount of vitamins and minerals.

These examples of beef and pork will have a very similar effect on weight loss.

Beef vs lamb

The next comparison is between beef and lamb. Boiled ground lamb contains about 283 calories per 100 grams (6).

Ground lamb contains about 24.7 grams of protein per 100 grams vs ground beef with 25.4 grams per 100 grams. Lastly these two types of meat are very similar when it comes to the amount of vitamins and minerals.

Beef will likely be slightly better than lamb for weight loss but the difference won’t be that big.

Beef vs chicken

Chicken is another popular type of meat. Ground chicken is a relatively big amount lower in calories than beef, 189 calories per 100 grams (7).

Ground beef has about 25.4 grams of protein per 100 grams vs ground chicken with 23.3 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these 2 types of meat is similar.

Chicken will very likely be better for weight loss than beef.

Chart of beef vs other popular meats

The meat that really stands out for weight loss is chicken. When making the choice between the other types of meat you are mainly deciding with personal preference.

The amounts of vitamins and minerals in the types of meat do matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for beef (3), pork (5), lamb (6), and chicken (7) to compare.

Values Per 100gGround BeefGround PorkGround LambGround Chicken
Calories273 calories265 calories283 calories189 calories
Protein25.4 g23.5 g24.7 g23.3 g
Chart of beef vs other popular meats for weight loss